I was born in the darkest wilds of Wiltshire, a county primarily known for cider and wizards. I spent my childhood reading unsuitably macabre fairy tales and talking to imaginary friends in the garden. As a teenager I mainly listened to heavy metal, played the guitar badly and moped about in woodlands wishing I lived in the city.
I studied English literature at Cardiff University, and did a master’s degree in medieval literature in York, writing a dissertation on medieval visions of the afterlife. In York I discovered folk music, and whiled away many a delightful hour knocking back cider and joining in the choruses at the legendary Black Swan Folk Club.
I then worked as an archivist and lived in Oxford, Liverpool and Reading. I’ve catalogued all the records of Berkshire’s Victorian lunatic asylum, and Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. I’ve worked for the National Portrait Gallery and the Natural History Museum, and the Royal College of Surgeons of England. The latter contains the finest collection of watercolours of horribly diseased genitals you’re ever likely to see.
I’m having a break from the world of archives at the moment and working as a CELTA-qualified English language teacher and freelance writer. I live East London with my French boyfriend and a lot of oversized houseplants. The secret to growing them so large is to play them Guns ‘n’ Roses ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ on a regular basis.
I write about social history, especially the nineteenth century, heritage and culture, literature, and all things relating to British folk culture, the magical and esoteric.
You can contact me at katemtyte at gmail dot com