Dreaming of Rose: A Biographer’s Journal, Handheld Press. Publication July 2021

‘Such a wise and charming book, giving us a glimpse over the shoulder of a biographer at work … a tribute to biography itself, as a quest, as an art, and as the most generous and selfless of literary genres.’ – Sarah Bakewell, author of At the Existentialist Cafe, Freedom, Being & Apricot Cocktails and How to Live: or a Life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer


Something of Themselves: Kipling, Kingsley, Conan Doyle, and the Anglo-Boer War, Hurst Publishers

February 2020

Shortlisted for the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography.

‘Imaginatively conceived, meticulously researched and subtly narrated … a biographical treasure trove’ – David Kynaston, author of Austerity Britain, Family Britain and most recently (with Francis Green) Engines of Privilege: Britain’s Private School Problem

‘A brilliantly insightful, very moving examination of three writers on the battlefield.’ – Lara Feigel, author of Free Woman; The Bitter Taste of Victory; and The Love-charm of Bombs

‘This biographical study of three writers in South Africa in 1900 is also a history of the first year of the Boer War, and a splendidly well-written page-turner. … Sarah LeFanu has already shown her ability to combine scholarship and storytelling… In Something of Themselves, she has achieved a classic’ – Jan Montefiore, Times Literary Supplement

‘This lively and thoroughly researched book gives an effective account of the political and military events of the Boer War, splendidly evoking the geographical and social landscape against which it was fought. … Sarah LeFanu brings the story to life … full of interesting extras and witty asides’ – Richard Maidment, Kipling Journal

‘a fascinating study’ – Benjamin Shull, Wall Street Journal

‘ambitious … compelling … magisterial’ – Uddalak Mukherjee, Telegraph of India


S is for Samora: A Lexical Biography of Samora Machel and the Mozambican Dream, Hurst Publishers

‘Vivid and clear-eyed … highly  recommended’ – Henning Mankell

‘A cracking biography of the Mozambican dream’ – Zoe Norridge, Independent       


In the Chinks of the World Machine: Feminism and Science Fiction

Ebook: SilverWood Books

‘Astute and searching’ – Sunday Times


Rose Macaulay: A Biography

Ebook: SilverWood Books

‘a magnificent job … imaginative and thoughtful, dense with distilled information  … LeFanu offers a skilled visual, intellectual and emotional picture of a complex woman.’ – Diana Souhami, Independent