Growing up in America, I was always drawn to the past and those things that bore witness to it: old books and houses, family heirlooms and oral histories. These seemed to me talismans, offering portals to an otherwise inaccessible world. This passion drove me to study history with a focus on the objects and spaces that survive from it, and to listen for the stories they tell us about the people who made and used them. For anyone interested in the lives of those persons normally forgotten in the official histories of kings and bishops, historic objects offer vital testimony.
Fifteen years ago, I moved to the UK to live among the medieval buildings and images with which I had become enthralled, first in Oxford but now for many years in Cambridge, where I live with my husband and two sons. During and after my graduate research into medieval English history, I have been passionate about sharing my love of the past and its remnants, and have written for Country Life and BBC History Magazine, and worked with organisations including English Heritage, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Church Monuments Society.
In my role as Head of Programmes at the Architectural Heritage Fund, I continue to be awed and inspired by the remains of centuries past that we live and work surrounded by each day.