Peter Moore is a British historian, lecturer and critic. He is the author of four works of history, mostly set in eighteenth and nineteenth century Britain. Among these are the critically acclaimed top ten Sunday Times bestsellers The Weather Experiment and Endeavour. His latest book, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness: Britain and the American Dream was published in the UK and USA in June 2023.
Peter was born in Staffordshire in 1983 and was educated at the local schools before completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Durham. His first book, Damn His Blood (2012) was a study of a double murder in rural Worcestershire in 1806. It was serialised on BBC Radio 4 and chosen by the Guardian as a book of the week.
His next work, The Weather Experiment (2015), was rooted in the same historical period but it told the very different story of how a pioneering group of thinkers – artists, scientists, adventurers and mathematicians – sought to invent a standardised way of predicting the weather. The Weather Experiment was adapted for a BBC television series and the New York Times chose it as one of their Notable Books of 2015.
In 2018 his third book, Endeavour, was published. Told through the biography of the bark HMS Endeavour that James Cook famously sailed on his first voyage to the South Seas, it was named as a multiple book of the year in the USA and UK, where it was also a Sunday Times bestseller.
Peter’s most recent book, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, was published in the summer of 2023. It is a British pre-history of the American revolution, structured around the three central aspirations – of life, liberty and happiness – that appear in Thomas Jefferson’s famous phrase in the 1776 Declaration of Independence.
Peter has been a Winston Churchill Fellow and a Gladstone’s Library writer in residence. His journalism has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, History Today and the Literary Review. In 2018 he founded the history podcast Travels Through Time, which has now had more than a million downloads and includes interviews with writers like Robert Harris, Ken Follett, Bernard Cornwell and Michael Palin.
He teaches on Oxford University’s Mst in Creative Writing and lives in London with his wife and two children.