Andrew Lownie has been a journalist, bookseller, publisher and since 1985 a literary agent – first as a director of Curtis Brown and since 1988 running his own agency. For the last three years he has been short-listed for Literary Agent of the Year at the British Bookseller Awards and, according to Publishersmarketplace, has been the top selling literary agent in the world . He also runs Thistle Publishing which has pioneered reissuing backlist titles and publishing books regarded as too troversial by the major houses.
A judge for The Plutarch Biography Prize and St Ermin’s Hotel Intelligence Book Prize, he has served on the committee of EnglishPEN and Biographers International Organisation and is the founder and now President of The Biographers Club. He speaks widely at festivals and conferences around the world on different aspects of publishing and how to get published.
He is the author of several books including a literary guide to Edinburgh and acclaimed biographies of the writer John Buchan and the spy Guy Burgess.
Andrew Lownie was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he was Dunster History Prizeman and President of the Union, before taking his Masters and doctorate at Edinburgh University.
His most recent book, ‘The Mountbattens: Their Lives & Loves’ is a Sunday Times bestseller. His previous books include acclaimed lives of the writer John Buchan and the spy Guy Burgess.
photo credit above Nina Hollington
Contact email: Lownie@globalnet.co.uk
Contact telephone: 207 222 7574
Literary Festival Appearances: Edinburgh, Wigtown, Cheltenham, Cambridge, Sherborne, Canterbury, Sevenoaks, Gibraltar, Oxford, Hexham, Berwick, Lavenham, Ilkley, Hampstead, Scaborough etc)
North American Spies (Edinburgh University Press,1992)
John Buchan: The Presbyterian Cavalier (Constable, 1995; Pimlico, 2002; Thistle; 2014)
The Complete Short Stories of John Buchan vols 1-3 (Thistle, 1995-1996)
The Edinburgh Literary Companion (Birlinn, 2005)
Guy Burgess: The Lives of Guy Burgess (Hodder,2015; St Martin’s Press, 2016)
The Mountbattens: Their Lives & Loves (Blink Publishing; 01 edition 22 Aug. 2019)
Synopses of books
The Mountbattens: Their Lives & Loves
The intimate story of a unique marriage that spans the heights of glamour and power to infidelity, manipulation and disaster through the heart of the 20th century.
DICKIE MOUNTBATTEN: A major figure behind his nephew Philip’s marriage to Queen Elizabeth II and instrumental in the Royal Family taking the Mountbatten name, he was Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia during World War II and the last Viceroy of India.
EDWINA MOUNTBATTEN: Once the richest woman in Britain and a playgirl who enjoyed numerous affairs, she emerged from World War II as a magnetic and talented humanitarian worker loved around the world.
From British high society to the South of France, from the battlefields of Burma to the Viceroy’s House, The Mountbattens is a rich and filmic story of a powerful partnership, revealing the truth behind a carefully curated legend.
Was Mountbatten one of the outstanding leaders of his generation, or a man over-promoted because of his royal birth, high-level connections, film-star looks and ruthless self-promotion? What is the true story behind controversies such as the Dieppe Raid and Indian Partition, the love affair between Edwina and Nehru, and Mountbatten’s assassination in 1979?
Based on over 100 interviews, research from dozens of archives and new information released under Freedom of Information requests, prize-winning historian Andrew Lownie sheds new light on this remarkable couple.
Stalin’s Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess
Guy Burgess was the most important, complex and fascinating of ‘The Cambridge Spies’ – Maclean, Philby, Blunt – all brilliant young men recruited in the 1930s to betray their country to the Soviet Union. An engaging and charming companion to many, an unappealing, utterly ruthless manipulator to others, Burgess rose through academia, the BBC, the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6, gaining access to thousands of highly sensitive secret documents which he passed to his Russian handlers.
In this first full biography, Andrew Lownie shows us how even Burgess’s chaotic personal life of drunken philandering did nothing to stop his penetration and betrayal of the British Intelligence Service. Even when he was under suspicion, the fabled charm which had enabled many close personal relationships with influential Establishment figures (including Winston Churchill) prevented his exposure as a spy for many years.
Through interviews with more than a hundred people who knew Burgess personally, many of whom have never spoken about him before, and the discovery of hitherto secret files, Stalin’s Englishman brilliantly unravels the many lives of Guy Burgess in all their intriguing, chilling, colourful, tragi-comic wonder.
John Buchan: The Presbyterian Cavalier
Forever associated with the classic thriller The Thirty-Nine Steps, Buchan wrote over a hundred books, including a series of ‘shockers’ as he called them, children’s books and tales of the supernatural. He also wrote biographies and was the author of what many regard as the finest history ever written of the Great War. A man of formidable energy, he had a distinguished career in public life. He ran the Ministry of Information during the First World War, and after eight years as a Conservative MP he ended his career as Lord Tweedsmuir, Governor-General of Canada. In this, the first biography for thirty years, Andrew Lownie has been able to draw on private papers not used before, which have enabled him to paint a compelling picture of Buchan’s life, and a panoramic view of British political, social and literary circles during the first half of the twentieth century.
The Edinburgh Literary Companion
Few cities can boast such a distinguished literary pedigree as Edinburgh. Burns, Scott, Conan Doyle, Buchan, Dorothy Dunnett and J.K. Rowling have all lived in th
e city; Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon convalesced there (inspiring Pat Barker’s Booker-prize-winning Regeneration trilogy), and Dickens and Thackeray came on triumphant reading tours. Visitors have ranged from Defoe and George Eliot to Wordsworth, Hans Christian Anderson and the hundreds of renowned authors who now appear at one of the literary world’s most important annual events – The Edinburgh International Book Festival.This new and hugely expanded edition of The Literary Companion to Edinburgh traces the city’s history from the Old Town, dominated by the Castle and the High Streets with its numerous wynds and closes, to the elegant and spacious New Town and its surrounding villages.
Pitch to Publishers & Festival Organisers:
Experienced speaker (former President of The Cambridge Union) and regular appearances on television and radio (BBC, ITN, Channel 4 etc) . Regarded as the leading expert on Guy Burgess, John Buchan and Edinburgh’s literary past, he reviews widely and appears regularly at writing festivals, Guardian MasterClasses etc.