Caroline Shenton is an archivist and historian. With a doctorate in medieval history from Oxford, she is a former Director of the Parliamentary Archives in London, and before that a senior archivist at the National Archives. Her first popular history book The Day Parliament Burned Down won the Political Book of the Year Award in 2013, and was shortlisted for the Longman/History Today Prize, It was also a Book of the Year for The Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Daily Mail and Herald Scotland. Mary Beard called it ‘microhistory at its absolute best’ while Dan Jones considered it ‘glorious’. Its highly-acclaimed sequel, Mr Barry’s War, about the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster in the nineteenth century, was a Book of the Year in 2016 for The Daily Telegraph and BBC History Magazine and was described by Lucy Worsley as ‘a real jewel, finely wrought and beautiful’.
She has appeared at various literary festivals, including Hay and Cheltenham; has broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (The Westminster Hour, The Archive Hour, Analysis), LBC and various international radio stations; has appeared on TV including for BBC Parliament, BBC 2’s Timewatch and for the Discovery Channel; and has written opinion pieces for The Guardian and The Literary Review , and bookreviewed for The Spectator.
Caroline teaches Public History to postgraduates at the Centre for Archives and Information Studies at the University of Dundee, and on using archives for creative non-fiction at Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education. In 2017 she was a Political Writer in Residence at Gladstone’s Library. She is also an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society.
Her third book, National Treasures. How the Nation’s Art was Saved in World War II will be published by John Murray in November 2021.