Deborah Harkness

Scholar, Novelist & Wine Enthusiast; Best Known as a Historian and Author

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Los Angeles, CA

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Deborah Harkness is an American scholar, novelist and wine enthusiast, best known as a historian and the author of The New York Times best selling novel “A Discovery of Witches” and its sequel “Shadow of Night.”

Born in 1965, Harkness grew up near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of an American-born father and a British-born mother. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College (B.A., 1986), Northwestern University (M.A., 1990), and the University of California at Davis (Ph.D., 1994). Harkness also studied abroad at Oxford University. She is a well-regarded historian of science and medicine, as well as having studied alchemy, magic and the occult.

Deborah Harkness is a professor of history and teaches European history and the history of science at the University of Southern California. She has published two works of historical non-fiction, “John Dee’s Conversations with Angels: Cabala,” “Alchemy and the End of Nature” and “The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution.”

In 2011, Harkness published her first work of fiction, “A Discovery of Witches.” The first novel in the All Souls trilogy, “A Discovery of Witches” is a historical fiction novel that tells the story of a modern-day witch who inadvertently calls up an ancient enchanted manuscript at Oxford University’s Bodleian Library thereby attracting the unwelcome notice of a host of magical creatures who live among humans, including other witches, daemons and a 1,500 year-old French vampire. The novel debuted at No. 2 on The New York Times Best Seller hardcover fiction list, and has been sold in at least 34 countries.

The second novel in the series, Shadow of Night, was published a year later, becoming a No. 1 success on The New York Times Best Seller list. The third novel in the series is called “The Book of Life.” The book won Best Fantasy of 2014 in the GoodReads Choice Awards.

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