Talks & Interviews



Graham Swift and Hermione Lee, in Conversation. ICA Talks (Recorded 1982-09-16; Duration: 00:33:25). Available at the British Library Sound Archive.

Julian Barnes and Hermione Lee, in Conversation. ICA Talks (Recorded 1984-10-16; Duration: 00:52:48). Available at the British Library Sound Archive.

Aharon Appelfeld and Hermione Lee, in Conversation. ICA Talks (Recorded 1987-09-16; Duration: 00:53:02). Available at the British Library Sound Archive.

Hermione Lee on Writing Biography, Cheltenham Literature Festival, 2009.

A Celebration of Penelope Fitzgerald, Cheltenham Literature Festival, 2016. [On 6 December 2016, English PEN hosted a unique event on the life and literature of Penelope Fitzgerald, chaired by Hermione Lee. Penelope Fitzgerald: A Celebration featured reflections from publisher Stuart Proffitt and novelist Michele Roberts, and readings from Fitzgerald’s work by actors Bill Nighy, Diana Quick and Toby Jones.]

Hermione Lee gives the Malkin Lecture on Edith Wharton, Park Avenue Armory, November 28, 2017.

Professor Dame Hermione Lee by Jean Lottard
Photo by Jeremy Read, 2020


'The Hum and Buzz of Implication Biography and Edith Wharton', Heyman Center for the Humanities, 12 April 2007. [The 2007 Lionel Trilling Seminar.]

Lecture on Edith Wharton, New York Society Library, 27 March 2012.

Lecture on Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain, Institute of English Studies, 25 January 2014.

'From Memory: Isaiah Berlin, Literary Encounters and Life-Stories', Wolfson College Podcasts, Oxford University, 2014.

Lectures on Life-Writing (Delivered at Princeton University)

Shelley's Heart and Pepys's Lobsters (September 27, 2004)

Jane Austen Faints (September 28, 2004)

Virginia Woolf's Nose (September 29, 2004)


Koval, Ramona. 'Writing Biography: Hermione Lee'. 'Books and Writing': ABC Radio National. 25 September 2005. Available online.

Lee, Hermione. 'Age Makes a Difference', The New Yorker 83.29 (October 1, 2007): 56-62 [Hermione Lee interviews Philip Roth on the publication of his novel Exit Ghost].

'The World of Hermione Lee, Biographer', Telegraph Magazine, 27 January 2007.

Vashist, Urvashi. 'The Life Biographic: An Interview with Hermione Lee', The Literateur, 21 June 2012.

'Hermione Lee: The Art of Biography, No. 4,' interviewed by Louisa Thomas, The Paris Review, Summer 2013.

Hermione Lee (Virginia Woolf) in Conversation with Gary Giddins (Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams). 5th Annual Leon Levy Biography Conference, March 18, 2013.

'Book Discussion with Hermione Lee,' Book TV, CSPAN2, May 12, 2013. [Hermione Lee talks about the process of writing biographies and the lives of Virginia Woolf and Edith Wharton.]

Hermione Lee in conversation with Gaby Wood. London Book Fair, 2014. Sponsored by the English PEN Literary Salon.

Hermione Lee in conversation with Patrick Gale about Edith Wharton, Penelope Fitzgerald and the writing of biographies. North Cornwall Book Festival, 8 October 2017.


'Work in Progress'. BBC Radio 3, January 2002 [Five short programmes in which Hermione Lee discusses her work on a biography of American novelist Edith Wharton and traces the writer's journey around Italy. Available online on the BBC Radio 3 Archive.]

Short Video Talks

Hermione Lee discusses Virginia Woolf and the painting of Ennui by Walter Richard Sickert in 1933.

Hermione Lee discusses The Lost Domain by Alain-Fournier. A short video in which Hermione Lee discusses the subject and development of her new book Biography: A Very Short Introduction. (3:16)

Radio (with Julian Barnes)

'The Proper Vehicle of Passion' [with Julian Barnes]. BBC Radio 4 [Two-part journey in the footsteps of Edith Wharton and Henry James. Episode I: A Cathedral Surrounded by a Blur, 29 April 2004; Episode II: Pigging It, 6 May 2004].

'Kipling and France' [with Julian Barnes]. BBC Radio 4 [Two-part series about Rudyard Kipling. Episode I: Rather A Motorious Letter, 10 Novemberl 2005; Episode II: Their Name Liveth For Evermore, 17 Novemberl 2005].

'The Man Who Made France Old' [with Julian Barnes]. BBC Radio 4 [Two-part series about Prosper Mérimée. Episode I: Merimee, the Creator of Carmen, 12 July 2007; Episode II: Merimee, the Patron Saint of Tourists, 19 July 2007].

'Misfits in France' [with Julian Barnes]. BBC Radio 4 [Three-part series in which Julian Barnes and Hermione Lee explore the connections between a group of Victorian writers and artists who crossed the English Channel for different reasons. Episode I: Wilde about Dieppe, 23 October 2008; Episode II: Broken in Berneval, Soaked in the Sea, 30 October 2008; Episode III: Impressions of Honfleur, Reunions in Rouen, 6 November 2008].

'Ford Madox Ford and France' [with Julian Barnes]. BBC Radio 4 [Two-part series telling the story of Ford Madox Ford, author of The Good Soldier and editor of a Paris-based magazine which published James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway and Jean Rhys]. Visit the programme mini-site.

Hermione Lee with Julian Barnes