Born and educated in Devon, Rachel Trethewey went on to read History at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University, where she won the Philip Geddes Prize for student journalism. During her subsequent journalistic career she wrote features for the Daily Mail and Daily Express and later became Education Correspondent on Westcountry Television.
Her biography of Georgina, Duchess of Bedford, MISTRESS OF THE ARTS, was published by Headline Review in 2002.
After starting a family, she went to Exeter University where she was awarded a distinction for her MA in Victorian Studies. In 2013 she completed a Phd in English on the eighteenth-century educationalist and writer Anna Letitia Barbauld. Her chapter on Barbauld’s politics was published in the collection of essays ANNA LAETITIA BARBAULD: NEW PERSPECTIVES (Bucknell University Press, 2013).
In 2018 The History Press published two books by Rachel Trethewey. The first was the touching story of The Red Cross pearls, telling the story of the generation of women who gave what they had to aid the war effort and commemorate their losses in PEARLS BEFORE POPPIES. It was followed by BEFORE WALLIS: EDWARD VIII’S OTHER WOMEN.
Rachel’s latest book THE CHURCHILL GIRLS: THE STORY OF WINSTON’S DAUGHTERS was published by The History Press in the UK in 2021. It was published as THE CHURCHILL SISTERS. in the US by St Martin’s Press to tie in with the anniversary of Winston Churchill’s birth in the Fall of 2021. MOTHERS OF THE MIND a book about the influences of the mothers’ of Virginia Woolf, Agatha Christie and Sylvia Plath, will be published by The History Press in 2023.
In 2022 Rachel received the Antonia Fraser Award, for ‘a biography of a woman or women’.
Rachel Trethewey has been a chair person at Ways With Words Literary Festival for many years. She is a regular book reviewer for The Independent.