I’m a British translator and writer based between France and the UK. My translations from French include thirteen novels, numerous short stories and over 30 non-fiction titles: art monographs, exhibition catalogues, decorative arts, interiors and design, travel writing, and travel guides.
My work celebrates cultural heritage, from literature, artworks and monuments to the intangible heritage that enhances everyday life around the world: decoration and textiles, ancestral crafts and skills, food, rituals, beliefs, stories, songs… A focus I’m proud to share with my stable of clients: leading French and francophone museums, cultural institutions, publishers of fiction, art and travel books, luxury houses, and private cultural foundations.
I hold an MA in English, literary translation and art history from the University of Cambridge (Queens’ College) and an MPhil. in broadly the same sort of thing from the University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP – see Research, teaching and academic translation). My monograph Matisse: The Books (2020) grew out of my research at ULIP and is published by Thames & Hudson (UK) and the University of Chicago Press.
Before turning to translation, I worked as an editor and writer for Condé Nast (House & Garden magazine), Thames & Hudson Ltd., Time Out Paris, the Cadogan Guides and more. With Maxwell Consumer Publishing (but not their pension fund) I edited client magazines and gained a solid grounding in corporate and institutional communications. I spent ten years with INSEAD business school, first as writer and editor of a stable of publications, and finally as commissioning and managing editor for the launch issue of a new business review, INSEAD Quarterly (IQ).
- My background in art history and fine art publishing led to my monograph on the livres d’artiste of Henri Matisse, and translations for leading French art institutions and publishers including the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, the Institut National de l’Histoire de l’Art, the Musée Rodin, the Musée Marmottan, Flammarion, Somogy, and Gründ (the Bénézit Dictionary of Artists).
- As an experienced copywriter, sub and communications writer, I ‘transcreate’ marketing texts and copy for leading French luxury houses.
- My lifestyle and interiors journalism led to a series of translations for Flammarion, including Inès de la Fressange’s best-selling Parisian Chic: A Style Guide, India Mahdavi’s Home Chic: Decorating with Style, and monographs on leading designers Christian Liaigre and Axel Vervoordt.
Wearing my holiday let landlady’s hat (think Cissy and Ada, but a tad more raffish), I offer cosy retreats in SE Wales (my old home town in the Wye Valley, just above Tintern Abbey) and on the edge of Fontainebleau forest, for folk seeking to follow in the footsteps of Jan Morris, Wordsworth, Mallarmé, Cocteau, Robert Louis Stevenson, Katherine Mansfield and others (or just stay somewhere nice).
About my T-shirt
Art Girl Rising is an activist group promoting 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).