My Books

BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week – Sunday Times Top 20 Bestseller –
“Book of the Year” in 4 national papers

“wonderful … David Niven’s classic movie memoir The Moon’s a Balloon meets Game of Thrones … a whirl of banquets, massive jewels, backstabbing, sex and death … a delicious free-flowing human adventure … eye-poppingly fun and thought-provoking” (The Times)

“A compelling read … Byrne writes authoritatively about Hollywood’s illusions and obscene, glittering excess” (Daily Mail)


‘A zingy fast-moving novel – very readable, elegantly written and crafted’ – The Times

‘This energetic debut has genuine suspense’ – Daily Mail

GeniusCover2 Buy

‘superb … compelling’ – Evening Standard

‘The most insightful analysis of the making of the Austen legacy’ – Jane Smiley, New York Times

‘I relished every page … Byrne’s knowledge of everything Austen wrote has an enviable thoroughness and perception which is rare among Austen scholars and which illuminates the whole of her text. I am tempted to say this is the best book on Jane Austen I have ever read’ – The Spectator

‘definitive and pioneering’ – Times Literary Supplement

‘A fascinating analysis that marries meticulous historical research with critical imagination and flair’ – The Historical Journal

KICKCover Buy

‘A story of glamour, romance and tragedy’ – The Times

‘A brilliant and sympathetic biography … sentence by sentence, the book is a joy’ – The Guardian

‘An exciting, heartbreakingly tense love story’ – Kirkus Review

‘An engrossing read’ – New York Post

‘written with panache … as engaging as its subject’ – Sunday Express

‘A fun-loving American charms the English aristocracy with her wit and sangfroid, overcoming prejudice to win the heart of London’s most eligible bachelor …  Paula Byrne … recaptures her brief but fascinating story’ – Vogue

‘Byrne conjures such an a vivid portrait of her enchanting heroine that one almost feels deprived never having met her’ – Daily Mail Book of the Week

‘An excellent biography … supported by impressive research’ – Financial Times

BelleUSA Buy

‘A touching account … artfully constructed’ – Sunday Times

‘The theatrical zest of the narrative, which is a tie-in with a movie of the same name, holds it all together’ – The Times

‘Byrne brings to this brief history an eye for telling details of daily life, slaveholders’ unthinkable cruelty, and the fervent work of a few good men and women who changed their world’ – Kirkus Review

RealJA  Buy

‘Brilliantly illuminating … riveting’ – The Guardian

‘Vividly persuasive’ – New York Times Editor’s Choice

‘Magnificent … explodes the old view of her subject … Her method is kaleidoscopic, full of surprises, offering a fascinating social and cultural history of the time served up in a series of learned yet wholly accessible essays, the formidable scholarship subsumed, never paraded’ – Times Literary Supplement

MadWorld Buy

‘An utterly captivating and generous book with all the intensity of a diary and the scholarly soundness of a fine biography … You’ll be hard-pressed to set it down’ – Chicago Tribune

‘turbo-driven narrative power … vibrant, absorbing, stranger than fiction’ – Sunday Times

‘a marvelous book, warm, witty and enormously readable’ – Daily Telegraph

‘Altogether excellent and wickedly entertaining’ – Washington Post


‘Enthralling and perceptive … A fine biographer has conjured up a dazzling personality and brought her, laughing, back to life … superbly researched and narrated’ – Sunday Times

‘a masterly portrait of a remarkable woman’ – Sunday Telegraph


‘Inspired … With excellent commentary from beginning to end, this useful book is cheaper than therapy … A wonderful volume for every home’ – Daily Mail

‘packages up some of the most beautiful and beloved of poems (from Horace to Clive James, by way of Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson and WB Yeats) as a literary mindfulness cure … Read a poem a day and it could save your sanity as much as any fancy new theory … Above all, the poems remind us what it is to be human in any age, and that we are not alone’  – Sunday Times