S.J. Parris biography

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S.J. Parris

S.J. Parris

S.J. Parris Biography

S. J. Parris is the pseudonym of author and journalist Stephanie Merritt.

Parris first became fascinated by the rich history of Tudor England and Renaissance Europe while researching a paper as a student at Cambridge. Since then, her interest has grown and led her to create this series of historical thrillers featuring Giordano Bruno.

Parris has worked as a critic and feature writer for a variety of newspapers and magazines, as well as radio and television shows. She currently writes for the Observer and the Guardian and is the author of six books.

Stephanie is also a regular speaker and chair at literary events, including the Hay Festival, Edinburgh Book Festival, the National Theatre, Foyles, the British Library, Guardian Live and the Southbank Centre. From 2007-8 she curated and produced the Talks and Debates programme at Soho Theatre. She has been a judge for the Perrier Comedy Award, the Orange New Writing Prize and the Costa Book Awards. She is a frequent contributor to Radio 4's Front Row and Saturday Review and occasionally pops up on TV, usually talking about books. When she's not reading or writing, or talking about reading and writing, she likes going for long walks, and once walked 192 miles right across England, which she shows off about at every opportunity. She lives in Surrey with her son.

S.J. Parris's website

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Interview

S.J. Parris writes about her inspiration for Heresy, which masterfully blends true events with fiction into a page-turning murder mystery set on the sixteenth-century Oxford University campus.

S.J. Parris writes about her inspiration and research for Heresy

I first encountered the character of Giordano Bruno when I was a student at the University of Cambridge writing a thesis about the influence of occult philosophy on Renaissance literature. I was immediately captivated by his multi-faceted career (philosopher, proto-scientist, magician and poet) and the drama of his life during years of exile on the run from the Inquisition around the courts of Europe. All the accounts I read of him suggested that he was extremely charismatic, the sort of person everyone wanted at their dinner parties, and that he possessed the ability to offend and charm in equal measure—in the course of a few years he went from fugitive heretic to close friend and confidant of kings and courtiers. But he was also a man fiercely committed to his ideas, even when that meant deliberately provoking the received wisdom of the day and courting a death sentence from the Pope.

At the time I thought Bruno would make an intriguing character for a novel, but other ideas intervened and for a while I forgot about him. More than ten years later, I was reading about the Wars of Religion in the late 16th century and came across his name again in a book that ...

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Books by this Author

Books by S.J. Parris at BookBrowse
Treachery jacket Sacrilege jacket Prophecy jacket Heresy jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for S.J. Parris but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Vanora Bennett

    Vanora Bennett

    Vanora Bennett became a journalist almost by accident. Having learned Russian and been hired after university by Reuters, she was catapulted out of the classical-music life of her family and straight into the adrenaline-... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Heresy

    Try:
    Portrait of an Unknown Woman
    by Vanora Bennett

  • Phillip DePoy

    Phillip DePoy

    Phillip DePoy is the director of the theatre program at Clayton State University and author of several novels, including The Witch's Grave and A Minister's Ghost. He lives in Decatur, Georgia. (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Heresy

    Try:
    A Prisoner in Malta
    by Phillip DePoy

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