Claire Cock-Starkey

Claire Cock-Starkey - Editor

Cambridge, UK

Writer and editor of non-fiction books especially history, archaeology and current affairs for Bloomsbury, Icon, British Library and more.

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Overview

I am a writer, editor and indexer of non-fiction books covering a variety of subjects including history, archaeology, architecture, current affairs, sports and gift books. I have worked in non-fiction publishing for over 15 years with a number of trade publishers including Bloomsbury, Icon, Biteback, Atlantic, British Library and Bodleian Library.

I am a very keen reader and love books and this translates into my professional life, lending me a keen eye for detail and an understanding of what elevates a good book to a great book. As a writer myself I am all too aware of the pitfalls of copy-editing another's work and as a result I maintain a sensitive respect for an author's voice and like to work in a friendly, collaborative manner.
Languages
English (UK)
Non-Fiction
Architecture
Biographies & Memoirs
Entertainment
History
Nature
Parenting & Families
Politics & Current Affairs
Sports & outdoor recreation

Certifications

  • Grappling with Grammar from the Publishing Training Centre

Work experience

Freelance writer, editor and indexer

Self-employed
April, 2011 – Present (over 8 years)

I like to think of myself as a non-fiction all-rounder.
I write non-fiction books and articles with a focus on history, books, words and libraries.
I edit non-fiction books for a variety of trade publishers on a wide range of subjects including history, archaeology, politics, sport, entertainment, architecture and biography.
I index non-fiction books across a variety of subjects.

Series Editor

Ben Schott
September, 2003 – September, 2010 (about 7 years)

Writing and editing the annual publication Schott's Almanac (Bloomsbury) and overseeing the US and German editions.

Portfolio (18 selected works)

Magna Carta: Origins and Legacy

Nicholas Vincent

Magna Carta is the most famous document in English history. And yet its survival is purely accidental. King John, who negotiated the document with his rebellious barons, had no intention of honouring its contents. Annulled by the pope within weeks of being issued, it was destined to oblivion. But with the sudden death of John, all of this changed. Magna Carta was reissued by the regents of the... read more

Magna Carta is the most famous document in English history. And yet its survival is purely accidental. King John, who negotiated the document with his rebellious barons, had no intention of honouring its contents. Annulled by the pope within weeks of being issued, it was destined to oblivion. But with the sudden death of John, all of this changed. Magna Carta was reissued by the regents of the... read more

Bignor Roman Villa

David Rudling, Miles Russell

Discovered in 1811, Bignor is one of the richest and most impressive villas in Britain, its mosaics ranking among the finest in north-western Europe. Opened to the public for the first time in 1814, the site also represents one of Britain’s earliest tourist attractions, remaining in the hands of the same family, the Tuppers, to this day. This book sets out to explain the villa, who built it, w... read more

Discovered in 1811, Bignor is one of the richest and most impressive villas in Britain, its mosaics ranking among the finest in north-western Europe. Opened to the public for the first time in 1814, the site also represents one of Britain’s earliest tourist attractions, remaining in the hands of the same family, the Tuppers, to this day. This book sets out to explain the villa, who built it, w... read more

Stonehenge: The Story of a Sacred Landscape

Francis Pryor

An illustrated, evocative narrative of the nature and history of Stonehenge that places the enigmatic stone megaliths in a wider cultural context. Perched on the chalk uplands of Salisbury Plain, the megaliths of Stonehenge offer one of the most recognizable outlines of any ancient structure. Its purpose―place of worship, sacrificial arena, giant calendar―is unknown, but its story is one of th... read more

An illustrated, evocative narrative of the nature and history of Stonehenge that places the enigmatic stone megaliths in a wider cultural context. Perched on the chalk uplands of Salisbury Plain, the megaliths of Stonehenge offer one of the most recognizable outlines of any ancient structure. Its purpose―place of worship, sacrificial arena, giant calendar―is unknown, but its story is one of th... read more

Reel History: The World According to the Movies

Alex von Tunzelmann

From ancient Egypt to the Tudors to the Nazis, the film industry has often defined how we think of the past. But how much of what you see on the screen is true? Picking her way through Hollywood's version of events, an acclaimed historian sorts fact from fiction. Based on the long-running column in the Guardian, Reel History takes a comic look at the history of the world as told through the mo... read more

From ancient Egypt to the Tudors to the Nazis, the film industry has often defined how we think of the past. But how much of what you see on the screen is true? Picking her way through Hollywood's version of events, an acclaimed historian sorts fact from fiction. Based on the long-running column in the Guardian, Reel History takes a comic look at the history of the world as told through the mo... read more

How to Unplug Your Child: 101 Ways to Help Your Kids Turn Off Their Gadgets and Enjoy Real Life

Liat Hughes Joshi

Split into bite-sized chapters, from fun indoors to activities on the go, food and cooking to science and nature, this book is packed with activities for all ages of children from preschoolers to even the most jaded, screen-obsessed teens and the kid in all of us too. From crocheting to garden camping to sands sculpting, How to Unplug Your Child will give you and your kids a host of things to ... read more

Split into bite-sized chapters, from fun indoors to activities on the go, food and cooking to science and nature, this book is packed with activities for all ages of children from preschoolers to even the most jaded, screen-obsessed teens and the kid in all of us too. From crocheting to garden camping to sands sculpting, How to Unplug Your Child will give you and your kids a host of things to ... read more

The Pain-Free Cyclist: Conquer Injury and Find your Cycling Nirvana

Matt Rabin, Robert Hicks

It's not (just) about the bike. Ride your bike long enough and you're likely to get injured. It's not what cyclists want to hear, but it's the hard truth.Cycling is a rapidly growing sport, and as cyclists increase, so does the number of injuries. What do you do if you get injured? Rest? Continue to ride? To avoid further complications and more harmful injuries resulting in substantial time of... read more

It's not (just) about the bike. Ride your bike long enough and you're likely to get injured. It's not what cyclists want to hear, but it's the hard truth.Cycling is a rapidly growing sport, and as cyclists increase, so does the number of injuries. What do you do if you get injured? Rest? Continue to ride? To avoid further complications and more harmful injuries resulting in substantial time of... read more

A Library Miscellany

Claire Cock-Starkey

What can be found in the Vatican’s Secret Archive? How many books did Charles Darwin’s library aboard the Beagle hold? Which library is home to a colony of bats? Bursting with potted histories, quirky facts, and enlightening lists, this book explores every aspect of the library, celebrating these remarkable institutions as well as the individuals behind their inspiring collections. From the an... read more

What can be found in the Vatican’s Secret Archive? How many books did Charles Darwin’s library aboard the Beagle hold? Which library is home to a colony of bats? Bursting with potted histories, quirky facts, and enlightening lists, this book explores every aspect of the library, celebrating these remarkable institutions as well as the individuals behind their inspiring collections. From the an... read more

The Book Lovers' Miscellany

Claire Cock-Starkey

How is ink made? What is the bestselling book of all time? What are the oldest known books in the world? And how does one make sense of the colors found on Penguin paperbacks? The answers to these questions and many more await readers in The Book Lovers’ Miscellany.The Book Lovers’ Miscellany is a cornucopia for bibliophiles. With customary wisdom and wit, Claire Cock-Starkey presents a brief ... read more

How is ink made? What is the bestselling book of all time? What are the oldest known books in the world? And how does one make sense of the colors found on Penguin paperbacks? The answers to these questions and many more await readers in The Book Lovers’ Miscellany.The Book Lovers’ Miscellany is a cornucopia for bibliophiles. With customary wisdom and wit, Claire Cock-Starkey presents a brief ... read more

Bodleianalia: Curious Facts about Britain's Oldest University Library

Claire Cock-Starkey, Violet Moller

Which is the smallest book in the Bodleian Library? How many miles of shelving are there in its Book Storage Facility? What is fasciculing? Who complained when their secret pen name was revealed in the library’s catalog? Why did the library refuse to lend a book to King Charles I? The answers to these questions are just a few of the remarkable bits of bibliophile trivia uncovered by Claire Coc... read more

Which is the smallest book in the Bodleian Library? How many miles of shelving are there in its Book Storage Facility? What is fasciculing? Who complained when their secret pen name was revealed in the library’s catalog? Why did the library refuse to lend a book to King Charles I? The answers to these questions are just a few of the remarkable bits of bibliophile trivia uncovered by Claire Coc... read more

Famous Last Words: An Anthology

Which statesman was, by the end, “bored with it all?” Which world-renowned economist considered on his deathbed whether he ought to have been less abstemious, saying “I should have drunk more champagne.” Did Admiral Horatio Nelson, one of England’s greatest naval heroes, really utter “Kiss me, Hardy” to his captain just before his death in the Battle of Trafalgar? Over the years, family and lo... read more

Which statesman was, by the end, “bored with it all?” Which world-renowned economist considered on his deathbed whether he ought to have been less abstemious, saying “I should have drunk more champagne.” Did Admiral Horatio Nelson, one of England’s greatest naval heroes, really utter “Kiss me, Hardy” to his captain just before his death in the Battle of Trafalgar? Over the years, family and lo... read more

Penguins, Pineapples and Pangolins: First Encounters with the Exotic

Claire Cock-Starkey

Can you remember seeing a tiger for the first time? Tasting a pineapple? Touching a cactus? Probably not, because in these modern times everyone is very knowing—knowledge is at our fingertips and it sometimes feels as if there is nothing new to discover. The awe and excitement from that moment has been lost because these objects and experiences have become ordinary to us. But, if we travel bac... read more

Can you remember seeing a tiger for the first time? Tasting a pineapple? Touching a cactus? Probably not, because in these modern times everyone is very knowing—knowledge is at our fingertips and it sometimes feels as if there is nothing new to discover. The awe and excitement from that moment has been lost because these objects and experiences have become ordinary to us. But, if we travel bac... read more

The Golden Age of the Garden: A Miscellany

The relationship between England and its gardens might be described as a love affair; gardening is a national passion, rooted in history. The e18th century is often called the Golden Age of English gardening; as the fashion for formal pleasure grounds for the wealthy faded, a new era began, filled with picturesque vistas inspired by nature. Charting the transformation in English landscapes thr... read more

The relationship between England and its gardens might be described as a love affair; gardening is a national passion, rooted in history. The e18th century is often called the Golden Age of English gardening; as the fashion for formal pleasure grounds for the wealthy faded, a new era began, filled with picturesque vistas inspired by nature. Charting the transformation in English landscapes thr... read more

How to Skin a Lion: A Treasury of Outmoded Advice

Claire Cock-Starkey

To tell the age of any horse,Inspect the lower jaw, of course.The six front teeth the tale will tell,And every doubt and fear dispel. . . . Have you ever wondered how to pan for gold, train a falcon, or make a love potion? Could you smoke your own bacon or correctly address a Maharajah? If not, fear not--with this book you will know how to do all of these things and more. How to Skin a Lion is... read more

To tell the age of any horse,Inspect the lower jaw, of course.The six front teeth the tale will tell,And every doubt and fear dispel. . . . Have you ever wondered how to pan for gold, train a falcon, or make a love potion? Could you smoke your own bacon or correctly address a Maharajah? If not, fear not--with this book you will know how to do all of these things and more. How to Skin a Lion is... read more

The French Exception: Emmanuel Macron - The Extraordinary Rise and Risk

Adam Plowright

THE FIRST BIOGRAPHY OF EMMANUEL MACRON IN ENGLISH From total unknown to one of Europe's most powerful men in just a few years, at 39, France's youngest leader since Napoleon is intent on conquering the world stage. But what lies beneath the facade of this youthful, ultra-confident and calculating president? How did someone from small-town France assemble - in just 12 months - the network, team... read more

THE FIRST BIOGRAPHY OF EMMANUEL MACRON IN ENGLISH From total unknown to one of Europe's most powerful men in just a few years, at 39, France's youngest leader since Napoleon is intent on conquering the world stage. But what lies beneath the facade of this youthful, ultra-confident and calculating president? How did someone from small-town France assemble - in just 12 months - the network, team... read more

Renoir's Dancer: The Secret Life of Suzanne Valadon

Catherine Hewitt

Catherine Hewitt's richly told biography of Suzanne Valadon, the illegitimate daughter of a provincial linen maid who became famous as a model for the Impressionists and later as a painter in her own right.In the 1880s, Suzanne Valadon was considered the Impressionists’ most beautiful model. But behind her captivating façade lay a closely-guarded secret. Suzanne was born into poverty in rural ... read more

Catherine Hewitt's richly told biography of Suzanne Valadon, the illegitimate daughter of a provincial linen maid who became famous as a model for the Impressionists and later as a painter in her own right.In the 1880s, Suzanne Valadon was considered the Impressionists’ most beautiful model. But behind her captivating façade lay a closely-guarded secret. Suzanne was born into poverty in rural ... read more

Forewarned: A Sceptic's Guide to Prediction

Paul Goodwin

Whether it’s an unforeseen financial crash, a shock election result, or an expectedbarbecue season that sees record rainfall, forecasts have impacts on us all. Forewarned is a consumer’s guide to prediction, based on the very latest scientific research. By the end of the book you’ll be better placed to make informed decisions in a volatile world. You’ll know when forecasts can be a reliable gu... read more

Whether it’s an unforeseen financial crash, a shock election result, or an expectedbarbecue season that sees record rainfall, forecasts have impacts on us all. Forewarned is a consumer’s guide to prediction, based on the very latest scientific research. By the end of the book you’ll be better placed to make informed decisions in a volatile world. You’ll know when forecasts can be a reliable gu... read more

The Bible for Grown-Ups: A New Look at the Good Book

Simon Loveday

The Bible for Grown-Ups neither requires, nor rejects, belief. It sets out to help intelligent adults make sense of the Bible — a book that is too large to swallow whole, yet too important in our history and culture to spit out. Why do the creation stories in Genesis contradict each other? Did the Exodus really happen? Was King David a historical figure? Why is Matthew's account of the birth o... read more

The Bible for Grown-Ups neither requires, nor rejects, belief. It sets out to help intelligent adults make sense of the Bible — a book that is too large to swallow whole, yet too important in our history and culture to spit out. Why do the creation stories in Genesis contradict each other? Did the Exodus really happen? Was King David a historical figure? Why is Matthew's account of the birth o... read more

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