Ruth Scurr is a writer, historian and literary critic. She teaches history and politics at Cambridge University, where she is a Lecturer and Fellow of Gonville & Caius College.
She was educated at St Bernard's Convent, Slough; Oxford University, Cambridge University and the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris. She won a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2000.
Her first book, "Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution" (Chatto & Windus, 2006; Metropolitan Books, 2006) won the Franco-British Society Literary Prize (2006), was shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize (2006), long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize (2007) and was listed among the 100 Best Books of the Decade in The Times in 2009. It has been translated into five languages.
She began reviewing regularly for The Times and the Times Literary Supplement in 1997. Since then she has also written for The Daily Telegraph, The Observer, The New Statesman, The London Review of Books, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, The New York Observer, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal.
She was a judge on the Man Booker Prize panel, 2007; the Samuel Johnson Prize panel, 2014; the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize panel, 2014.
She is a member of the Folio Prize Academy.
Her interests include: 17th and 18th century history of ideas; biographical, autobiographical and life writing; the British and French Enlightenments; the French Revolution; Revolutionary Memoir; early Feminist Political Thought; and contemporary fiction in English.