Philip Gooden is a British bestselling historical novelist and nonfiction author. He writes books about language as well as historical crime novels.
Philip Gooden is a graduate of Magdalen College, Oxford. He taught English for many years. His non-fiction books include literature guides for students, popular reference titles Name Dropping: An A to Z Guide to the Use of Names in Everyday Language, Idiomantics: The Weird World of Popular Phrases, The Word at War: World War Two in 100 Phrases and Skyscrapers, and others.
Among Gooden's nonfiction works are reference books that both guide and entertain. These include his award-winning Faux Pas: A No-nonsense Guide to Words and Phrases from Other Languages (2005). In this volume, Gooden rates some 700 words and phrases from French, Latin, German, and eighteen other languages with a "pretentiousness index," and includes sources in which the words are used, most from various British newspapers.
Philip’s book for Head of Zeus is called May We Borrow Your Language? How English has stolen, snaffled, purloined, pilfered, appropriated, and looted words from all four corners of the world. More recently Little Brown published another fascinating book about language entitled Bad Words and what they say about us.
Philip also writes fiction and is the author of the Nick Revill series, a sequence of six historical mysteries set in Elizabethan and Jacobean London during the time of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre which was re-released in 2020 by Constable Robinson.
In addition, he has written a crime series set in Chaucer’s time and new editions were published in 2020. He also writes 19th-century mysteries, most recently The Salisbury Papers, The Durham Deception, and The Ely Testament, published in 2021. He is a member of the Medieval Murderers group who together has written some ten titles for Simon & Schuster.
Under the pseudonym of Philippa Morgan, Gooden also wrote Chaucer and the House of Fame.
Philip Gooden was commissioned by Sweet Cherry to adapt ten of Dickens’ novels for children.
Philip Gooden currently lives in Bath, UK.