Henrietta Heald is the author of the William Armstrong, Magician of the North, shortlisted for the H. W. Fisher Best First Biography Prize and the 2012 Portico Prize for non-fiction. The book is now available in hardback and paperback and as an e-book.
A graduate of Durham University, Henrietta had a long and successful career in book publishing before taking up the pen herself. She was chief editor of the historical encyclopedia Chronicle of Britain and Ireland and has edited and project-managed books on architecture, interiors and the British countryside, including Illustrated Guide to Britain's Coast and Country Walks and Scenic Drives, both published by Reader's Digest. Among her publishing triumphs was the first British edition of The Periodic Table by Primo Levi.
Henrietta lives in Islington, north London, with her husband, Adam Curtis, but spends much of her time in northeast England, visiting Armstrong's old haunts. She is now writing a book about the family of Charles Parsons - one of Armstrong's apprentices, who invented of the steam turbine - and in particular his daughter, Rachel, a pioneering feminist who campaigned in the 1920s for women's employment rights. Rachel met a violent death in 1956 at her Newmarket racing stable at the hands of a stableboy.