I’m a British translator and writer based between France and the UK. ‘Astonishing Travellers’ takes a look around my portfolio, and includes (very) occasional blog posts about the writing, art, places and people that interest and inspire me. Thank you for visiting – I’d love to hear from you! Contact details below.
My work celebrates cultural and intangible heritage – from literature, artworks and monuments to interior decoration, ancestral crafts and skills, food, rituals and beliefs…
I hold an MA in English, literary translation and art history from Queens’ College, Cambridge, and an MPhil. in broadly the same from the University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP). My monograph Matisse: The Books (2020) grew out of this research and is published by Thames & Hudson (UK), the University of Chicago Press (US) and Einaudi (Italy).
Before adding translation to the portfolio, I worked as an editor and writer for Condé Nast (House & Garden magazine), Thames & Hudson Ltd., Time Out Paris, the Cadogan Guides and more. I edited client magazines for Maxwell International Consumer Publishing, and spent ten years with INSEAD business school as a research writer and publications editor, and finally as commissioning and managing editor for the launch issue of INSEAD Quarterly (IQ).
My other lives in academia, art publishing, communications, interiors, lifestyle and travel journalism shape my translation practice today:
- Literary translations from French, including thirteen novels, several short stories, and over 30 non-fiction titles: art monographs, exhibition catalogues, decorative arts, interiors and design, travel writing and guidebooks.
- Translations for leading French art institutions and publishers including the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, the Institut National de l’Histoire de l’Art, the Centre National des Arts Plastiques, the Musée Rodin, the Musée Marmottan, Flammarion, Somogy, and Gründ.
- Transcreation of marketing texts and copy for leading French luxury houses.
Talking about translation, with blogger Silvia_reads.
Why ‘Astonishing travellers’?
Readers in French may recognise the borrowed name of a literary festival held annually in Saint Malo: Etonnants voyageurs. Every translated book, every writer and artist, is an astonishing traveller, and many of my favourites have journeyed between continents, cultures, media, genders, classes. The flying books remind me that reading connects minds across space and time. Translated books, especially, grow wings.
Saint Malo’s islets are home to the tomb of the poet Châteaubriand, erected in the face of pettyfogging local objections, scandal and opprobrium. At high tide, the Romantic hero is cut off from the mainland, at peace with the sea and sky. But at low tide, a causeway (my cover picture) is exposed and we can walk out to join him. Time and tide may cut us off from great writing or art, but they may also lay bare the connections that existed all along. Translation can help us across.
About my T-shirt
Available from Art Girl Rising, who promote women artists in museums and galleries, and women in contemporary art. My namesake is of course Louise Bougeois, art’s very own Spiderwoman and the subject of a fascinating book by Jean Frémon, published in English by Les Fugitives (tr. Cole Swenson).
Society of Authors / UK Translators Association
Member since 2005, elected committee member, 2016-18.
Institute of Translation & Interpreting
Qualified member, by examination, 2001: specialist subject Art History.
Accredited external translator (by examination, 1999).
Please write, follow, like and otherwise reach out via:
Hi, I discovered you on twitter when you liked my comment on mannerists and then I discovered your blog – and it is a rare pleasure! Plus, Matisse is one of my favourites. Even his tiniest work is worthy of an essay about it. Very nice to meet you!
Thank you! I enjoyed your post about paintings of the ‘Rape of Europa’ – a subject treated by Matisse, including a drawing in one of hislivres d’artiste, discussed in my book.
Matisse is coming soon in the series) thank you!