LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

Michael Wood - Author

About the Author

Michael Wood is the writer and presenter of many critically acclaimed series on television, including Art of the Western World, Legacy and In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great. He is author of over sixty TV films which have been shown worldwide and of several best selling and highly praised books.


He was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Oriel College Oxford where he did postgraduate research in Anglo-Saxon history. Since then he has worked as a journalist, broadcaster and film maker.


Indian civilisation has long been a special interest: Over the years Michael Wood has made a dozen visits to India and in addition to his films, Darshan and Legacy, he has written The Smile of Murugan, about a small town inTamil Nadu and its annual pilgrimage.


His academic background was in early medieval English history; among his publications are In Search of the Dark Ages and Domesday. He published a recent series of medieval essays as In Search of England.

Michael Wood lives in North London with his wife and their two daughters.

Featured books by Michael Wood

Other books by Michael Wood

Anglo-German Dramatic and Poetic Encounters Perspectives on Exchange in the Sattelzeit

Anglo-German Dramatic and Poetic Encounters Perspectives on Exchange in the Sattelzeit

Author: Michael Wood Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/06/2019

Focusing on particular cases of Anglo-German exchange in the period known as the Sattelzeit (1750-1850), this volume of essays explores how drama and poetry played a central role in the development of British and German literary cultures. With increased numbers of people studying foreign languages, engaging in translation work, and traveling between Britain and Germany, the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries gave rise to unprecedented opportunities for intercultural encounters and transnational dialogues. While most research on Anglo-German exchange has focused on the novel, this volume seeks to reposition drama and poetry within discourses of national identity, intercultural transfer, and World Literature. The essays in the collection cohere in affirming the significance of poetry and drama as literary forms that shaped German and British cultures in the period. The essays also consider the nuanced movement of texts and ideas across genres and cultures, the formation and reception of poetic personae, and the place of illustration in cross-cultural, textual exchange.

Edinburgh German Yearbook 12 Repopulating the Eighteenth Century: Second-Tier Writing in the German Enlightenment

Edinburgh German Yearbook 12 Repopulating the Eighteenth Century: Second-Tier Writing in the German Enlightenment

Author: Michael Wood Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/11/2018

German literature and thought flourished in the eighteenth century, when a culture considered a European backwater came to assert worldwide significance. This was an age in which repeated attempts to reform German literary and philosophical culture were made - often only to be overtaken within a few decades. It ushered in generations of exceptionally gifted poets and thinkers including Klopstock, Lessing, Goethe, Kant, and Schiller, whose names still dominate our understanding of the German Enlightenment. Yet the period also brought with it new means of accessing and disseminating culture and a rapid increase in cultural production. The leading lights of eighteenth-century German culture operated against the backdrop of a yet more diverse and vivid cast of literary and philosophical figures since consigned to the second tier of German culture. Through essays that examine particular non-canonical works and writers in their wider cultural context, this collection repopulates the German Enlightenment with these largely forgotten movements, writers, and literary circles. It offers new insights into the development of genres such as the novel, the fable, and the historical drama, and assesses the dynamics that led to individual authors, circles, and schools of thought being left behind in their time and passed over or inadequately understood to this day. Contributors: Johannes Birgfeld, Stephanie Blum, Julia Bohnengel, Kristin Eichhorn, Sarah Vandegrift Eldridge, Jonathan Blake Fine, J. C. Lees, Leonard von Morze, Ellen Pilsworth, Joanna Raisbeck, Ritchie Robertson, Michael Wood. Michael Wood is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in German at the University of Edinburgh. Johannes Birgfeld teaches Modern German Literature at the University of the Saarland.

The Hangman's Hold

The Hangman's Hold

Author: Michael Wood Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/09/2018

Your life is in his hands. In the gripping new serial killer thriller from Michael Wood, Matilda Darke faces a vicious killer pursuing his own brand of lethal justice. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Helen Fields. There's a killer in your house. The Hangman waits in the darkness. He knows your darkest secrets. He'll make you pay for all the crimes you have tried desperately to forget. And he is closer than you think. DCI Matilda Darke is running out of time. Fear is spreading throughout the city. As the body count rises, Matilda is targeted and her most trusted colleagues fall under suspicion. But can she keep those closest to her from harm? Or is it already too late?

Habits of Distraction

Habits of Distraction

Author: Michael Wood Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2018

Starting with Walter Benjamin's idea of 'reception in a state of distraction' and looking briefly at some antecedents for Benjamin's thinking, this book develops a working model of distraction in interpretation. Examples are taken from film (Benjamin's test case), literature, music, painting and photography; the book closes with a 'distracted' reading of a classic work of concentration: Milton's Paradise Lost.

Habits of Distraction

Habits of Distraction

Author: Michael Wood Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/07/2018

Starting with Walter Benjamin's idea of 'reception in a state of distraction' and looking briefly at some antecedents for Benjamin's thinking, this book develops a working model of distraction in interpretation. Examples are taken from film (Benjamin's test case), literature, music, painting and photography; the book closes with a 'distracted' reading of a classic work of concentration: Milton's Paradise Lost.

Tbc30 6 Steps to a Stronger, Healthier You

Tbc30 6 Steps to a Stronger, Healthier You

Author: Michael Wood Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/06/2018

Alfred Hitchcock The Man Who Knew Too Much

Alfred Hitchcock The Man Who Knew Too Much

Author: Michael Wood Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/03/2018

Are You a Christian? No, I Mean Really?

Are You a Christian? No, I Mean Really?

Author: Michael Wood Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/09/2017

Heiner Muller's Democratic Theater The Politics of Making the Audience Work

Heiner Muller's Democratic Theater The Politics of Making the Audience Work

Author: Michael Wood Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/06/2017

The East German playwright Heiner Muller (1929-1995) is one of the most influential European dramatists and theater directors since Brecht. While critical literature on Muller often discusses the politics of his works, analysis tends to stop at the level of the text, neglecting the theatrical events that emerge from it and the audiences for which it was written and performed. Situating his study within Muller's interests in democracy and audience activity, Michael Wood addresses these gaps in scholarship, making an original contribution to the understanding of Muller's work as playwright and director. In 1985, Muller spoke of the importance of a democratic theater: one that confronts theatergoers with densely contradictory material that they must interpret for themselves, reflecting the complexity of material reality and encouraging them to question their participation in political life. Wood's study shows that Muller sought to do this in his combined 1988 production of Der Lohndrucker, Der Horatier, and Wolokolamsker Chaussee IV: Kentauren, staged at a time when questions of democracy were at the forefront of East German consciousness. It also demonstrates that from the beginning of his career Muller tried to make theater that would create a form of democracy both within and outside the theater. Michael Wood is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, where he received his PhD in 2014.

On Empson

On Empson

Author: Michael Wood Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/04/2017

From one of today's most distinguished critics, a beautifully written exploration of one of the twentieth century's most important literary critics Are literary critics writers? As Michael Wood says, Not all critics are writers--perhaps most of them are not--and some of them are better when they don't try to be. The British critic and poet William Empson (1906-84), one of the most important and influential critics of the twentieth century, was an exception--a critic who was not only a writer but also a great one. In this brief book, Wood, himself one of the most gifted writers among contemporary critics, explores Empson as a writer, a distinguished poet whose criticism is a brilliant literary performance--and proof that the act of reading can be an unforgettable adventure. Drawing out the singularity and strength of Empson's writing, including its unfailing wit, Wood traces the connections between Empson's poetry and criticism from his first and best-known critical works, Seven Types of Ambiguity and Some Versions of Pastoral, to later books such as Milton's God and The Structure of Complex Words. Wood shows why this pioneer of close reading was both more and less than the inventor of New Criticism--more because he was the greatest English critic since Coleridge, and didn't belong to any school; and less because he had severe differences with many contemporary critics, especially those who dismissed the importance of an author's intentions. Beautifully written and rich with insight, On Empson is an elegant introduction to a unique writer for whom literature was a nonstop form of living.

Room Full of Killers: A gripping crime thriller with twists you won't see coming (DCI Matilda Darke Series, Book 3)

Room Full of Killers: A gripping crime thriller with twists you won't see coming (DCI Matilda Darke Series, Book 3)

Author: Michael Wood Format: eBook Release Date: 17/02/2017

'DCI Matilda Darke is the perfect heroine' Elly GriffithsThe third book in Michael Wood's darkly compelling crime series featuring DCI Matilda Darke. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid.Eight killers. One house. And the almost perfect murder...Starling House is home to some of Britain's deadliest teenagers, still too young for prison.When the latest arrival is found brutally murdered, DCI Matilda Darke and her team investigate, and discover a prison manager falling apart and a sabotaged security system. Neither the staff nor the inmates can be trusted.The only person Matilda believes is innocent is facing prison for the rest of his life. With time running out, she must solve the unsolvable to save a young man from his fate, and find a murderer in a house full of killers...

Fallen: A DCI Matilda Darke short story

Fallen: A DCI Matilda Darke short story

Author: Michael Wood Format: eBook Release Date: 23/12/2016

'DCI Matilda Darke is the perfect heroine' Elly GriffithsA short story and prequel featuring DCI Matilda Darke, star of Michael Wood's darkly compelling crime series. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid.It's Christmas in Sheffield. But not everyone is enjoying the festive season...A man has been found brutally murdered in his own home. The victim is Iain Kilbride, a once-famous TV star who has faded into obscurity. All signs point to a break-in, but why has nothing been taken?For DCI Matilda Darke, this is the perfect chance to prove her newly formed Murder Investigation Team are up to the task. Matilda suspects the clue to finding the killer lies in Iain's past, but she's about to discover how dark that past really is...

From Creation to the Gospel

From Creation to the Gospel

Author: Michael Wood Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/10/2016

Outside Looking In

Outside Looking In

Author: Michael Wood Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/07/2016

`DCI Matilda Darke is the perfect heroine' Elly Griffiths The second book in Michael Wood's darkly compelling new crime series featuring DCI Matilda Darke. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid. When elderly George Rainsford goes to investigate a suspicious noise one night, the last thing he expects to find is a bloodbath. A man has been killed and a woman brutally beaten, left for dead. The victims are Lois Craven and Kevin Hardaker - both married, but not to each other. Their spouses swear they knew nothing of the affair and, besides, they both have alibis for the attack. With nothing else to link the victims, the investigation hits a dead end. The pressure is on for investigating officer, DCI Matilda Darke: there's a violent killer on the loose, and it looks like her team members are the new targets. With no leads and no suspects, it's going to take all Matilda's wits to catch him, before he strikes again.

Outside Looking In: A darkly compelling crime novel with a shocking twist (DCI Matilda Darke, Book 2)

Outside Looking In: A darkly compelling crime novel with a shocking twist (DCI Matilda Darke, Book 2)

Author: Michael Wood Format: eBook Release Date: 26/05/2016

'DCI Matilda Darke is the perfect heroine' Elly GriffithsThe second book in Michael Wood's darkly compelling new crime series featuring DCI Matilda Darke. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid.When elderly George Rainsford goes to investigate a suspicious noise one night, the last thing he expects to find is a bloodbath. A man has been killed and a woman brutally beaten, left for dead.The victims are Lois Craven and Kevin Hardaker - both married, but not to each other. Their spouses swear they knew nothing of the affair and, besides, they both have alibis for the attack. With nothing else to link the victims, the investigation hits a dead end.The pressure is on for investigating officer, DCI Matilda Darke: there's a violent killer on the loose, and it looks like her team members are the new targets. With no leads and no suspects, it's going to take all Matilda's wits to catch him, before he strikes again.

For Reasons Unknown

For Reasons Unknown

Author: Michael Wood Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/11/2015

Two murders. Twenty years. Now the killer is back for more... A darkly compelling debut crime novel. The start of a brilliant series, perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Val McDermid, and James Oswald. DCI Matilda Darke has returned to work after a nine month absence. A shadow of her former self, she is tasked with re-opening a cold case: the terrifyingly brutal murders of Miranda and Stefan Harkness. The only witness was their eleven-year-old son, Jonathan, who was too deeply traumatized to speak a word. Then a dead body is discovered, and the investigation leads back to Matilda's case. Suddenly the past and present converge, and it seems a killer may have come back for more...

Author Info

Author's Facebook

Find Michael Wood on Facebook

Twitter Updates

If this is your author page then you can share your Twitter updates with your readers right here on LoveReading

Find out more