Sharon Wright

Location: Surbiton, Surrey
About me...

I’m an author and journalist and enjoy talking about true-life stories almost as much as writing them. In a long career I’ve written for everyone from Take a Break to The Guardian, The Lady to the New York Post. I’ve popped up on Woman’s Hour and had a column in the Daily Express. I get about, me. Now I’m a nonfiction author and spend my days hiding in libraries, emerging only for a cup of tea and to write up startling discoveries in my books. I like giving talks because I meet lovely people and we all enjoy ourselves. That’s the main thing, isn’t it?

About my Talks...

My talks are fun and informal and illustrated by images that help bring them alive. I use a PowerPoint slideshow on a memory stick for use with an inhouse projector.

My talks last around 45 minutes to leave time for questions from the audience.


My fee is £120 and includes travel expenses.

My Contact Details:

07866 516016

The Astonishing Adventures of the Lady Aeronauts

In 1783 the Montgolfier brothers invented the hot air balloon and we learned how to fly. The sensational discovery sparked ‘balloonomania’ and the craze swept the world. Fashion and philosophy went bonkers for balloons. For once, women were in the thick of it. They seized a freedom in the sky that was to be found nowhere on the ground, with all the courage of true pioneers. Yet they were all but forgotten until I wrote my book, ‘Balloonomania Belles: Daredevil Divas Who First Took To The Sky’. Hear the fabulous stories of the actresses, writers, heiresses, scientists, explorers, showgirls and suffragettes who went up, up and away in the glorious golden age of ballooning before aeroplanes changed the skies forever.

Sex, Scandal and Mrs Sage

With more twists than a hit farce, a Georgian playwright could not have given the real-life Mrs Sage balloon show of 1785 a better plot. I discovered her hilarious story researching my book ‘Balloonomania Belles’. Letitia Sage was a West End actress invited to be the first Englishwomen to fly. Her steely determination and plunging neckline brought va-va-voom to the balloon. The plucky ‘en-bon-point’ diva’s bid to make history was beset by PR disasters and floppy gasbags – allowing 18th-century satirists to have a field day in some very rude cartoons. However, with the true grit of a true Brit, Letitia did lift off. But through a series of unfortunate events she was suspected of inventing the Mile High Club…

Mothering Heights: In Search of Mrs Brontë

Before Cathy met Heathcliff, before Jane Eyre met Mr Rochester, Maria Branwell met Mr Brontë. Reader, she married him – and their real love story rivals any Brontë novel. Maria gave us Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, the most gifted literary siblings the world has ever known… then vanished from history for 200 years.  Like the Brontë siblings, I was born in Bradford and became preoccupied with the missing mother of genius. When I set out to write the first biography of enigmatic Maria I was warned it was the book that could never be written because there wasn’t enough on her. I bet there is, I thought, if you go looking properly. Hear about my quest across the West Country and West Riding to unearth her remarkable, untold life story for my book ‘The Mother of the Brontës: When Maria Met Patrick’.


Sharon brought her Astonishing Adventures of the Lady Aeronauts talk to our U3A today and it was absolutely superb. Sharon’s was able to present her talk in a humorous down to earth way, whilst not downplaying the astonishing courage of the privileged ladies of the late 1700s/early 1800s who excitedly embraced the fun and excitement of this new and extraordinarily dangerous activity flying in the newly invented but somewhat uncontrollable hot air balloons of the day.
Our thanks to Sharon for an extremely interesting talk on a topic not so well known to most of us.

Roland Higgins
Tadley, Hampshire


Sharon Wright Contact Details:

07866 516016

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