Lydia Syson is a writer and former BBC World Service radio producer from London, UK. She usually spends more time exploring libraries, museums and archives than at sea. In her head, however, she’s been in the Kermadecs for the past few years - researching and writing a new novel called Mr Peacock’s Possessions. Set in the late 1870s on an imaginary version of Raoul/Rangitahua, it was inspired by the story of the Bell family, and the Niuean Islanders who came to work for them, whose names are unrecorded.
Lydia is also the author of three critically acclaimed historical novels for young adults, A World Between Us, That Burning Summer and Liberty’s Fire, each in some way inspired by the radical backgrounds of earlier generations of her family. For her adult fiction debut, Mr Peacock’s Possessions, which comes out in May 2018, she has borrowed from her husband’s family history – his great-aunt was married to William ‘King’ Bell, who was born on Raoul Island in 1889.