Naomi Clifford has been a committed historian since the age of eight, when a “Jackdaw” folder of original documents about the slave trade fired up her imagination about individual people forgotten by history. To this day she likes nothing better than rooting out and giving voice to those whose lives have not yet been told.
The child of US migrants, Naomi Clifford grew up in north London, won a scholarship to South Hampstead High School and read History at Bristol University. Various editorial jobs followed, including a two-year stint working in Nashville, Tennessee, and after her return to London, 30 years working for TV magazines. In 2010, as part of a campaign to restore the war memorial at Stockwell, she took it upon herself to research the 574 men listed on it and self-published the results as These Were Our Sons under the name Naomi Lourie Klein.
Four years later, while trawling the archives, Naomi chanced on the story of the abduction of a teenage heiress in 1817, and fixed her focus on women of the Georgian era. The resulting book, The Disappearance of Maria Glenn, was published by Pen & Sword in 2016.
This was followed by Women and the Gallows 1797–1837 (2017), an exploration of the stories of 131 female “unfortunate wretches” hanged in England and Wales, and The Murder of Mary Ashford (2018), which casts a fresh eye on a notorious and unsolved 1817 rape-murder and uncovers, for the first time in 200 years, the likely truth about what happened.
She is currently working on the diaries of June Spencer, an auxiliary ambulance driver during World War 2 in Chelsea, London.
She is a contributing editor to vauxhallhistory.org.
Naomi Clifford is represented by Hedda Archbold of HLA Agency.