Ruth Brandon is a historian, biographer and novelist, who uses biography to look at particular topics through individual lives. Her books have ranged from detective stories to non fiction but all explore the reasons why people think and act in the way that they do at a particular moment. Her previous books include Singer and the Sewing Machine: a Capitalist Romance, The Dollar Princesses, The Spiritualists, The New Women and the Old Men, The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini, Surreal Lives, Tickling the Dragon, The Uncertainty Principle and Automobile. Prior to finding her natural medium in books, Ruth worked as a television and radio producer with the BBC and subsequently as a freelance journalist. She was educated at Girton College, Cambridge.