Lauren is the author of 3 books, an AHRC-funded play, podcast fiction and a number of articles exploring the late medieval era and her work in heritage interpretation.

Her biography of Margaret Beaufort, the noblewoman who weathered the Wars of the Roses and gave the Tudor dynasty its claim to the throne, will be published by Head of Zeus.

Lauren’s other writing:

  • Catalina of Motril: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry about the Moorish bedchamber attendant of Catherine of Aragon.
  • Fortune’s Wheel: A fictionalized retelling of the true story of Eleanor Cobham, fifteenth century noblewoman and condemned traitor (Outliers podcast, HRP / Rusty Quill)
  • Lady Unknown: a site responsive AHRC-funded play exploring the philanthropic friendship of Angela Burdett Coutts and Charles Dickens (Charles Dickens Museum)


Praise for Lauren's Work

Shadow King

Lauren Johnson has done something extraordinary… Shadow King is the best life of Henry VI now in print: a triumph of elegant and spirited biography, deeply researched and beautifully written.

Dan Jones

Enthrallingly told ... [Lauren Johnson] gives us a convincing picture of Henry, a gentle man unsuited to his position, and of his bloody and brutal times ...  Shadow King is a scholarly work aimed at the common reader – and the common reader is richly rewarded.

Wall Street Journal

This evocative life of Henry VI shows how betrayal and defeat drove him out of his wits ... An involving account of a still undersung saga.

Daily Telegraph

[Lauren Johnson's] intention is to rediscover the man behind the myths and she has succeeded. Johnson has written a long, scrupulously researched book, but an eminently readable one.

New Statesman

Johnson is to be commended for doing something different, putting [Henry VI] back where he belongs. It is Henry's character, scrupulously and sensitively drawn by Johnson, that did most to shape the extraordinary and dramatic events of his reign.

The Times

[An] astute and enjoyable biography…  which makes a perceptive and sensitive contribution to existing scholarship on Henry VI… Lauren Johnson succeeds admirably, and her well-informed and assured account brings Henry VI to wider attention in engaging style.

Times Literary Supplement

Vivid, absorbing and richly detailed.

Helen Castor

A well-crafted moving account of a tragic reign, which treats its shadowy king with empathy and compassion.

Michael K. Jones

So Great a Prince

Ingenious... An assured and eye-opening introduction to the England of 1509.

Times Literary Supplement

A fascinating and original book… Johnson is a fine historian with a superb eye for detail. She will be at the forefront of British historical writing for a long time to come.

Mathew Lyons

The Arrow of Sherwood

One of Medievalist.net’s Books of the Year: I have read many takes on Robin Hood over the years but this book has been, by far, my favourite.


Johnson wears her learning lightly (she's a historian and scholar), and it is mighty refreshing to read something both well-written AND accurately researched. Top form.

Dr Annie Gray

Sometimes you read a book so captivating that you start to perceive the mundane elements of life as getting in the way of you finishing your book… What makes this book such an addictive and absorbing read are two elements that can make or break any historical novel: historical accuracy and believable characters. Johnson actually combines the two; she makes characters that are believable in their own historical context. [She] masterfully forms a vivid and colourful medieval England that is as important a character in her book as any of the protagonists.

Medieval Warfare

More reviews available at:

Amazon.co.uk Goodreads.com