Lindsey Davis is a novelist known for her Roman detective, Marcus Didius Falco and her ongoing series about his daughter, Flavia Albia. She has also written standalone books, some set in English Civil War, and novellas. Her work has been dramatized for radio and is being developed for TV.
Lindsey Davis has been a historical novelist for over thirty years. She began writing about the Romans with The Course of Honour, the real life love story of the Emperor Vespasian and Antonia Caenis. She is best known for her twenty book adventure series about Roman detective, Marcus Didius Falco and his partner Helena Justina. Falco: the Official Companion is an illustrated handbook for readers in which Lindsey talks about writing, the inspirations for her books, characters in the series, favourite Roman places and much more. She has also written Rebels and Traitors an epic novel set in the English Civil War and Commonwealth and A Cruel Fate, in the Quickreads series, also set in the Civil War. Many of her books are published by Random House, but Master and God, about the paranoid tyrant Domitian, and a second Roman detective series, featuring Flavia Albia are published by Hodder & Stoughton. Her books are translated into many languages and have been dramatized on BBC Radio 4. A film series is in what may be the final stages of development. Her many awards include the Premio Colosseo, awarded by the Mayor of Rome ‘for enhancing the image of Rome’, the CWA Dagger in the Library and the Crimewriters’ Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement.
She has been Honorary President of the Classical Association, Chair of the Crimewriters’ Association, Chair of the Society of Authors and President of the Birmingham and Midlands Institute.
What first sparked your passion for archaeology?
A young Latin teacher who started an archaeology society, then had the sense to make it joint with the Boys’ School next door... There was a lot about Roman Britain – slides of post holes, being travel sick on coach trips, eating jam sandwiches in the rain in amphitheatres...
What does archaeology mean to you?
A link with our past – but through streets and homes as well as the grander monuments that tend to survive physically. It gives a more rounded view of the past than comes from classical literature, which is generally written by and for the elite.
What is the most memorable thing to happen to you on a tour?
(Actually as a private traveller) Arriving at Olympia very late in the evening, with a violent thunderstorm that showed just why the Greeks thought this was the mountain home of Zeus. A kindly hotel had put us cold plates of dinner – but as I dipped my fork for the first mouthful, all the lights went out.
What is your favourite archaeological site?
The villa at Oplontis. Fabulous archaeology but also nostalgic memories from visits over many years with my late partner. Some of the wall painting is highly unusual, and I love the swimming pool area. In general in Naples I prefer Herculaneum to Pompeii.
How many tours have you led for Andante?
A handful dipping in as a celebrity guest, then just the one as a lead person.
Have you written any books or featured in any TV programs?
The Falco series, starting with The Silver Pigs; Shadows in Bronze and Vesuvius By Night for Naples; add in A Body in the Bath House and The Jupiter Myth if we do Falco’s Britain as a tour; most recently A Capitol Death and Invitation to Die. Se Delphi and Die is my Roman travel tour book...