Melanie Backe-Hansen

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Biography

Melanie is an independent historian, writer, and speaker, who specialises in researching and writing the social history of houses across the United Kingdom. She has a degree in history from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia and for close to six years Melanie was the first and only historian to be employed by a UK estate agent to research the history of houses and streets. Since 2012 Melanie has been an independent house historian, with the main focus of her work involving original research for homeowners and corporate clients to provide bespoke house history books and research reports.

Melanie is a research consultant for A House Through Time (BBC Two) and to accompany the popular series, Melanie has co-authored A House Through Time (Picador, 2020) with historian David Olusoga. She was series historical consultant and on-screen expert for Phil Spencer’s History of Britain in 100 Homes (More4). She is also the author of House Histories: The Secrets Behind Your Front Door (The History Press, updated edition 2019), and Historic Streets and Squares: The Secrets on Your Doorstep (The History Press, 2013).

In 2013, Melanie presented a paper, ‘Living on the Shaftesbury Park Estate’, for Mobilising London’s Housing Histories: The Provision of Homes since 1850 for the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. She is also a regular speaker at events and festivals, including The Ideal Home Show, Gloucester History Festival, London Library, Bath Spa University and The University of Portsmouth. Melanie is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, as well as a Member of the Royal Historical Society, The Society of Authors, and the Historical Writers’ Association. Melanie regularly contributes to national media, including The Times, The Telegraph, and The Daily Mail, as well as several lifestyle magazines, and appears regularly on television, radio, and online media.