Influential Authors

Great writers in history

Leading and intriguing writers in history

Talking about great writers in history is Susannah’s passion. She tells their stories so vividly that you’d swear she knew some of them personally. The people on this page are her favourite authors, the ones that she loves to talk about the most.

She shares juicy details about the type of person they were, uncovers their love-life, delves into family-life, and explores the impact that parents, siblings, partners and children all had on their work. She reveals how prolific they were, and how wealthy.

Susannah has done the research work for you. She lists books by, and books about the author, providing links to paid and free editions of these works. There are videos to watch, links to follow, and websites to view. You can even book her to give a live or online talk for your society or group.

Meet her favourite authors here.

Reviews
Influential Authors
Rated 0/5 based on 0 customer reviews
I was especially pleased to hear about Mary Somerville last week as she was such a trailblazer but previously an unknown quantity to me Funny how the women drop out of historical discourse!
I was especially pleased to hear about Mary Somerville last week as she was such a trailblazer but previously an unknown quantity to me. Funny how the women drop out of historical discourse!
Helen
0.0 5
I was especially pleased to hear about Mary Somerville last week as she was such a trailblazer but previously an unknown quantity to me Funny how the women drop out of historical discourse!
Great series Susannah – I loved the variety of trailblazers, the wonderful slides and I learned so much

Great series Susannah – I loved the variety of trailblazers, the wonderful slides and I learned so much.

Margi
0.0 5
Great series Susannah – I loved the variety of trailblazers, the wonderful slides and I learned so much
Just a quickie to say how successful (I’m sure), but how interesting and entertaining your four talks on Scottish writers have been  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every Monday afternoon   Yesterday... more

Just a quickie to say how successful (I’m sure), but how interesting and entertaining your four talks on Scottish writers have been.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every Monday afternoon.  

Yesterday’s was particularly interesting on Charles Rennie Mackintosh.  I have admired his furniture for ages and came to realise how similar his drawings were to Klimpf (as you mentioned) who I have come to know about since a visit to Budapest a few years ago. Isn’t it a shame that these geniuses are not appreciated more in their lifetimes? They have brave fresh ways of looking at the mundane and are not afraid of being less popular, and poorer for it.

Lois
0.0 5
Just a quickie to say how successful (I’m sure), but how interesting and entertaining your four talks on Scottish writers have been  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every Monday afternoon   Yesterday’s was particularly interesting on Charles Rennie Mackintosh  I have admired his furniture for ages and came to realise how similar his drawings were to Klimpf (as you mentioned) who I have come to know about since a visit to Budapest a few years ago Isn’t it a shame that these geniuses are not appreciated more in their lifetimes They have brave fresh ways of looking at the mundane and are not afraid of being less popular, and poorer for it
I wanted to say thank you yet again for another wonderful lecture series – loved the Scottish trailblazers! Being married to a Scot and having lived over there for 55 years, I grew to know about all... more

I wanted to say thank you yet again for another wonderful lecture series – loved the Scottish trailblazers! Being married to a Scot and having lived over there for 5.5 years, I grew to know about all these trailblazers except for Mary Somerville.

We are great fans of CR Mackintosh – even my husband watched your lecture last night!!

I look forward to more trailblazers as you develop them.

Sue
0.0 5
I wanted to say thank you yet again for another wonderful lecture series – loved the Scottish trailblazers! Being married to a Scot and having lived over there for 55 years, I grew to know about all these trailblazers except for Mary Somerville We are great fans of CR Mackintosh – even my husband watched your lecture last night!! I look forward to more trailblazers as you develop them
Many thanks for yet another wonderful series My cultural self has been greatly broadened by all your presentations and I hope you continue with them   I'm surprised that you did not include a scotc... more
Many thanks for yet another wonderful series. My cultural self has been greatly broadened by all your presentations and I hope you continue with them.
 
I’m surprised that you did not include a scotch distiller!
 
And many thanks for being such a much appreciated cultural trailblazer in our lives.
Alan
0.0 5
Many thanks for yet another wonderful series My cultural self has been greatly broadened by all your presentations and I hope you continue with them   I'm surprised that you did not include a scotch distiller!   And many thanks for being such a much appreciated cultural trailblazer in our lives
I had never heard of Charles Rennie Mackintosh until now What superb style and art we have seen tonight through his trailblazing work Thanks so much, Susannah for, as usual, a wonderful talk

I had never heard of Charles Rennie Mackintosh until now.

What superb style and art we have seen tonight through his trailblazing work.

Thanks so much, Susannah for, as usual, a wonderful talk.

Kay
0.0 5
I had never heard of Charles Rennie Mackintosh until now What superb style and art we have seen tonight through his trailblazing work Thanks so much, Susannah for, as usual, a wonderful talk
I have been enjoying your talks very much As I have small children and I am in New Zealand, the times have meant that I have had to watch them afterward instead of live  
I have been enjoying your talks very much. As I have small children and I am in New Zealand, the times have meant that I have had to watch them afterward instead of live.  
Marie
0.0 5
I have been enjoying your talks very much As I have small children and I am in New Zealand, the times have meant that I have had to watch them afterward instead of live  
Wonderful talk, thank you so much
Wonderful talk, thank you so much.
Marlene
0.0 5
Wonderful talk, thank you so much
That was fascinating Susannah, am ashamed to admit she was only a name to me before your lecture What a wonderful, extraordinary woman Thank you for bringing her to my attention 
That was fascinating Susannah, am ashamed to admit she was only a name to me before your lecture. What a wonderful, extraordinary woman. Thank you for bringing her to my attention. 
Penelope
0.0 5
That was fascinating Susannah, am ashamed to admit she was only a name to me before your lecture What a wonderful, extraordinary woman Thank you for bringing her to my attention 
Thank you for the wonderful talk about Mary Somerville I am ashamed to say that despite spending my entire career as a practising scientist, I have never heard of Mary Somerville I wonder if she was q... more
Thank you for the wonderful talk about Mary Somerville. I am ashamed to say that despite spending my entire career as a practising scientist, I have never heard of Mary Somerville. I wonder if she was quite correct that by not making any discoveries she was ranked somewhat lower. She was what we may consider now as a science communicator, albeit a fabulous one.
Emanuela
0.0 5
Thank you for the wonderful talk about Mary Somerville I am ashamed to say that despite spending my entire career as a practising scientist, I have never heard of Mary Somerville I wonder if she was quite correct that by not making any discoveries she was ranked somewhat lower She was what we may consider now as a science communicator, albeit a fabulous one
Very interesting talk on Mary Somerville  Thank You
Very interesting talk on Mary Somerville.  Thank You
Maureen
0.0 5
Very interesting talk on Mary Somerville  Thank You
What a remarkable woman - I had never ever heard of her so thank you
What a remarkable woman – I had never ever heard of her so thank you.
Helen
0.0 5
What a remarkable woman - I had never ever heard of her so thank you
I absolutely enjoyed your talk on Sir Walter Scott  Wonderful  Thank you 
I absolutely enjoyed your talk on Sir Walter Scott.  Wonderful.  Thank you. 
Valerie
0.0 5
I absolutely enjoyed your talk on Sir Walter Scott  Wonderful  Thank you 
A great session, on Sir Walter Scott It was interesting, informative  and inspiring 
A great session, on Sir Walter Scott. It was interesting, informative 
and inspiring. 
Mark
0.0 5
A great session, on Sir Walter Scott It was interesting, informative  and inspiring 

Here’s what makes each one of Susannah’s Video Talks so special. You will:

  • Enjoy viewing a video presented by Susannah any time, anywhere.
  • Learn about classic books in easy-to-understand everyday language.
  • Find out about the life of the author.
  • Experience scenes from the novels brought to life through Susannah’s dramatic readings.
  • Grasp the influence of the era, lifestyle and circumstances of the book’s setting.
  • Pick up on the small things that make a story rich.
  • Gain a richer and deeper understanding and enjoyment of a great work of literature.
All the details

What is it?
Anybody could just sit down and read one of these books. But it’s not so easy to learn about how the author came to write the book, or receive a commentary on all the film versions/sequels/adaptations that have resulted from it.

In each video, Susannah reveals intriguing stories about an author to help understand what prompted the book to be written. She identifies the main characters and their roles, analyses the themes behind the story, and describes the influence that the era, lifestyle and circumstances have on the book’s setting.

Susannah will inform you about the life of the writer, explain the influences which drove him or her to put pen to paper, examine the societal influences that helped bring a great classic into being. She will share juicy details about that author’s love-life, delve into family-life and the impact of parents and siblings, and will tell you about the initial reception of that novel. How did the reading public first react to a book that is today acclaimed as great? How prolific was that author, and how wealthy? What was it about their writing that drew the public, and which still makes us read their books today?

After listening to one of Susannah’s talks, you’ll feel that she actually knew the author personally. Her meticulously researched presentations bring her subjects vividly alive. Dramatic readings from the novels add to your listening/viewing experience. You also receive a curated list of where to buy the book in print, ebook, audio or in a library. Find the recommended reading books, watch a movie version, enjoy related videos, websites and much more.

Susannah guarantees that, after following her guides, you will have a far richer understanding of some fabulous classics than you ever would have done by just reading them on your own.

Most of Susannah’s talks are given to Australian audiences. Now she is international! Join Susannah in an exciting armchair journey and get to know the classics and the amazing men and women who wrote them.

Every one of these literary delights is a real treat! Each video is a minimum length of 40-50 minutes featuring Susannah’s entertaining lecture style blended with lots of images to delight any listener. Your small purchase price permits you to view the video as often as you wish during a calendar year.

Susannah has published many Literary Readers Guides, articles, books, monographs and spoken word CDs, most notably, several about Jane Austen’s work. Unlike so many research books, Susannah’s works are definitely intended for a popular readership. Treat yourself, or buy a thoughtful gift for a reading friend.

100% guaranteed. If you don’t feel Susannah’s guides are great value for money, please let her know why and she will refund your purchase price.

By ordering a product you help Susannah cover the expense of producing her monthly newsletter, Notes From A Book Addict, keeping it cost and advertising free. Thank you.

Ordering
It’s really easy to order. Just visit the talk of your choice above, and you can use any of these payment methods: Credit Card, Cash, Cheque, EFT or PayPal.
  Order online for immediate download. Purchase individually on each video’s page above.
  Order packs and special offers here.
  Phone orders, please see here.

Further information and help 
Please contact Susannah here.