writer · historian · critic

‘I loved this elegant untangling of a real-life literary mystery.’

Ruth Ware

‘A must-read for anyone enthralled by the value and integrity of books.’

Janice Hallett

‘Another superb piece of narrative scholarship from the best storyteller in book history.’

Dennis Duncan

Joseph Hone is a historian and writer of creative non-fiction based at Newcastle University, where he researches and teaches across the fields of literary studies and the history of the book. He is the author of several books about English literature, culture, and politics during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, though his research encompasses intellectual history and book history from the early modern period up to the present day. He previously studied and taught at Oxford, where he received his doctorate, before moving to research fellowships at Cambridge, Harvard, and Yale.

Joseph has a passion for uncovering neglected stories from the past. His most recent book is The Book Forger, which was published in 2024. Before that, he wrote The Paper Chase, a work of narrative non-fiction which investigates a three-hundred year old mystery involving an anonymous sectarian pamphlet, a masked woman, a down-on-his-luck printer, and a plot to overthrow the government. It was longlisted for the 2021 HWA Non-Fiction Crown. In 2022 he was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize for his work in literary studies and book history.

He has also written scholarly books on early eighteenth-century political writing and poetry. One of his long-running projects is editing Alexander Pope’s early poems for a major new edition to be published by Oxford University Press. A full list of his academic writings for scholarly journals can be found on his faculty webpage.

Joseph lives in Newcastle upon Tyne with his wife and son. He spends much of his spare time on the coast or scrabbling around second-hand bookshops.

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