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.]

Professor Dame Hermione Lee by Jean Lottard


'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.


'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