From the author: I have also done a certain amount of book reviewing, and some television programmes – notably an Omnibus to coincide with the Houdini publication, and a more recent Houdini film.
In non-fiction, my principal interest has been to use biography not as an end in itself, but as a way into social and cultural history. I take the un-Marxian view that history is influenced more than we imagine by the chance of individual circumstances and character. In the forthcoming AutoMobile, a series of chronological studies in social and cultural history are framed up as a series of journeys, both actual and metaphorical. These combine biography, history, reportage and comment much as I hope to do in my new project, Walt’s World. This will continue some of the themes raised in AutoMobile, especially regarding the increasing interchangeability of the public and corporate/commercial spheres and the ever more blurred boundaries between fiction and reality as life and themepark converge.
1972 – Married Philip Steadman. One daughter, Lily, born 1982.
Ruth Brandon’s books listed by year of publication:
1977 – Published Singer and the Sewing Machine – A Capitalist Romance with Barrie and Jenkins, UK, and Lippincott, US
1980 – The Dollar Princesses – Weidenfeld, UK, and Knopf, US
1982 – The Spiritualists – Weidenfeld and Knopf
1986 – Left, Right and Centre – Collins Crime Club, UK, and St Martins Press, US
1987 – Out of Body, Out of Mind – Macmillan, UK, and St Martins Press, US
1987 – The Burning Question – the Anti-Nuclear Movement since 1945 – Heinemann
1990 – The New Women and the Old Men – Love, Sex and the Woman Question – Secker and Warburg, UK, and Norton, US (reissued 2000, Macmillan)
1991 – Mind Out – Collins Crime Club
1992 – Being Divine – a life of Sarah Bernhardt – Secker and Warburg
1993 – The Gorgon’s Smile – Collins Crime Club
1994 – The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini – Jonathan Cape, UK; Random House, US; Klim, Denmark (reissued 2001, Macmillan)
1995 – Tickling the Dragon (novel) – Jonathan Cape
1996 – The Uncertainty Principle (novel) – Jonathan Cape
1999 – Surreal Lives – the Surrealists 1917 – 1945 – Macmillan, UK, Grove Atlantic, US; Estonia
2002 – AutoMobile: How the Car Changed Life – Macmillan