Sarah Siddons: the first celebrity actress

Pleased to announce my biography of the actress Sarah Siddons is published 30 May 2024.

Sarah had shot to fame relatively recently when Gainsborough painted her as a society beauty rather than a working performer.

He complained about the length of her nose.

But she knew that his portrait would only increase her status as the First Celebrity Actress.

Gainsborough’s famous portrait of the celebrity actress, Sarah Siddons

The IR-evolution

There have been huge changes in the ways that publicly quoted firms communicate with their investors over the past two years. The digitalisation of communications, which has been accelerated by the Covid pandemic, is one factor. The growing focus among many investors on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors is the other. These themes are explored in a recent survey and new report which Stuart has written with London Stock Exchange; download it here.

Upcoming Lady Mary talks

Over the next few months Jo’s going to be talking at the following events about her book, The Pioneering Life of Mary Wortley Montagu:

The Anglo-Turkish Society – tbc

The Oxford Literary Festival Wednesday 30 March

Tangerine Book Club Monday 4 April (invitation only)

Enstone History Society Wednesday 11 May

Hundred of Yetminster History Society Wednesday 12 October

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu – vaccine pioneer

ScaleUp Institute Annual Review 2021

As ever, it’s been exhilarating and fascinating to contribute to the ScaleUp Institute’s authoritative and respected Annual Review. It puts the spotlight firmly on the 33,000-odd companies which account for 50% of all the turnover generated by the UK’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) despite making up less than 0.6% of their population. There’s a wealth of data, including the findings of its annual survey of more than 500 scaleups; a wide range of policy recommendations; reviews of all the support programmes endorsed by the ScaleUp Institute; summaries of the scaleup landscape in every local area in the UK; along with ten insight articles and 15 new scaleup stories. If you want to learn about entrepreneurial Britain, this is a vital reference tool.

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