James Waddell is a graduate of Pembroke College, Oxford. He writes about visual art, theatre, the early modern period, and the intertwined histories of ideas, books, libraries and emotions. His writing has appeared in The Economist, Times Literary Supplement, 1843, Prospect and elsewhere. He has appeared as a guest on the TLS podcast and The Economist's The Intelligence podcast. In 2019, Waddell won the Telegraph/Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize and the Art Fund writing competition.