Nicola Phillips


Nicola Phillips is an expert in gender history, and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of History and Politics at Kingston University. She is also the Course Director of the History MA at Kingston. Nicola gained her PhD in history at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2001, and her first book was on women in business from 1700 to 1850. Her research focuses on 18th and early 19-th century gender, work, family, conflict, and criminal and civil law.

Nicola is an advocate of public history, with a particular interest in archives and family history. A co-founded of Kingston University’s Centre for the Historical Record, she is also a member of the National Archives User Advisory Group and the Historical Association’s Public History Committee, and has acted as a historical consultant for the National Trust, the Royal Mail, and Addidi Wealth Ltd. She has also contributed to radio and TV programmes on gender history.

Nicola lives with her husband, Jonathan Phills (a fellow historian, author, and broadcaster), and their children in Surrey, England.



The Profligate Son, Basic Books, August 2013
     A profligate son was every Georgian paren’tss worst nightmare. To his father, William Jackson’s imprudent spending, incessant partying, and sexual adventures were a sure sign he was on the slippery slope to ruin. But to his friends, William was a “damned good fellow,” a charming, impeccably dressed young gentleman with enviable seductive skills who was willing to defend his honor in duels. Mr. Jackson and his son view each other across a generational gap that neither can bridge, and their flawed relationship has catastrophic consequences for their family.


“This gem of a book provides a cautionary tale… a fascinating story about a tempestuous relationship between father and son…. There the tale would have ended, lost to history… except for the marvelous discovery and exquisite narrative skill of Nicola Phillips, who has a produced a satisfying historical portrait that seems straight out… of the pages of Jane Austen.”— Washington Times

“The engine of this book is its author’s empathy, but Phillips also has an eye for detail…. The accounts of the court proceedings and the workings of the legal system in which the boy becomes entangled are as good as anything outside the pages of Bleak House… impossible to forget.”—Literary Review, UK

“An absorbing case study….”— Booklist

Copyright Irene Skolnick Literary Agency 2016