Valerie Browne Lester is an independent scholar, writer, and translator living in the Boston area. She is the author of Fasten Your Seat Belts! History and Heroism in the Pan Am Cabin (1995), which is a history of Pan American told in the voices of its cabin crew; and Phiz, The Man Who Drew Dickens (2004), a biography of Hablot Knight Browne, Dickens’s principal illustrator (who was also her great-great-grandfather). Her biography of the great Italian printer Giambattista Bodoni (1710-1813) Giambattista Bodoni: His Life and His World was published by David Godine in September 2015.
In addition to her books and her translation of Alain-Fournier’s Le Grand Meaulnes (The Magnificent Meaulnes, 2009), she has written poetry, plays, and articles, including “A Bird’s Eye View of Nepal,” for The Atlantic Monthly.
She has recently completed a biography of Clarence Bicknell, Marvels: The Life of Clarence Bicknell, Botanist, Archaeologist, Artist, which was published in June 2018.
Latest Project - The West Indian, a novel
The West Indian is a mystery, a romance, a slice of historical fiction, a narrative of colonial life in Jamaica, and one woman’s adventures and misadventures on the island.
Surrounded by vivid characters and full of the detail and flavour of life in the 1700s, with its sights and sounds and natural history, The West Indian picks up pace as it races towards its shocking conclusion.
Publication is planned for April 2019.