Clay, Catrine

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Clay, Catrine




Home—London, England.


Writer, director, and producer. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Documentaries, London, England, researcher for documentary series 40 Minutes, beginning 1985, director and producer of television documentaries including "Our Darren," 1989; BBC History, London, writer, director, and producer for series Timewatch, 1993-c. 2001, producer for series and episodes including Sleeping with the Enemy, 2000, What the Romans Did for Us, 2000, and "Elizabeth: The Reluctant Monarch," Biography, 2004. Producer and/or director of documentary films, including The Stolen Child, Remember Aberfan, The Germans We Kept, A Child for Hitler, Britannia, Love Story: Berlin 1942, 1997, Princess to Queen (also see below), and The King, the Kaiser, & the Tsar (also see below).


Lieutenant of the Victorian Order, 1992; IDA Award in Strand Program category, International Documentary Association, 1997, and a Gliff Award for best documentary, Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival, 1998, both for Love Story: Berlin 1942.


(And director, producer) Timewatch (television series), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), 2001.


(With Michael Leapman) Master Race: The Lebensborn Experiment in Nazi Germany, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1995.

Princess to Queen, BBC Books (London, England), 1996.

King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World to War (adapted from the television documentary "The King, The Kaiser, & the Tsar"), Walker (New York, NY), 2007.


A resident of London, England, Catrine Clay has produced several British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) documentary projects such as Biography's "Elizabeth: The Reluctant Monarch" (2004) and the television series Timewatch (2001), for which she was also a writer and director. Moreover, she received awards from the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival and the International Documentary Association for her work directing and producing the documentary film Love Story: Berlin 1942, in the categories of Best Documentary and Strand Program respectively. Clay has also published several nonfiction texts that serve as a natural outlet for her historical acumen and her ability to arrange factual events into entertaining narratives.

Her first nonfiction book, written with with Michael Leapman, Master Race: The Lebensborn Experiment in Nazi Germany, published in 1995, discusses the events surrounding the program instituted by Heinrich Himmler that provided adoption, health, and welfare services to qualified persons according to Nazi racial criteria. Turning her attention to the British monarchy, Clay's second book, Princess to Queen, shares its title with her BBC biographical documentary of Queen Elizabeth II and was published in 1996 by BBC Books. The text traces the life of the queen from youth to adulthood while detailing important contiguous events. Likewise, Clay's 2007 nonfiction work King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World to War was adapted from her BBC documentary The King, The Kaiser, & the Tsar. With both the text and the film, Clay endeavors to connect interfamilial events involving cousins King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Tsar Nicholas II with the advent of World War I. As reviewer Steve Donoghue stated in a review for the Open Letters Web site: "One of the best pleasures of Clay's brisk narrative is the way her three main characters, in journals and letters and ubiquitous telegrams, take on three-dimensional life." Although historical nonfiction demands a dedication to fact, working within this particular genre does not hamper Clay's creative efforts. As Virginia Rounding's review for the Moscow Times Online noted, "Clay's contribution to her subject is in the arrangement of her material, rather than in the presenting of any fresh discoveries," for this historical context is familiar to many in her audience. However, "with a fictionist's eye for detail, Clay sets the stage," according to January Magazine Web site contributor Aaron Blanton. Blanton further remarked that the family connections binding Clay's subjects "have never been so well illustrated."



Booklist, May 1, 2007, Brad Hooper, review of King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World to War, p. 66.

Christian Science Monitor, July 24, 2007, Randy Dotinga, review of King, Kaiser, Tsar.

Decatur Daily (Decatur, AL), July 15, 2007, John Davis, review of King, Kaiser, Tsar.

Guardian (London, England), June 30, 2007, Ian Pindar, review of King, Kaiser, Tsar.

Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2007, review of King, Kaiser, Tsar.

Library Journal, May 15, 2007, Susanne Markgren, review of King, Kaiser, Tsar, p. 97.

Publishers Weekly, April 2, 2007, review of King, Kaiser, Tsar, p. 46.


Breman Jewish Heritage Museum Web site, (April 9, 2006), author biography.

Internet Movie Database, (February 20, 2008), author filmography.

January Magazine, (February 18, 2008), Aaron Blanton, review of King, Kaiser, Tsar.

Moscow Times Online, (August 17, 2007), Virginia Rounding, "All in the Family."

Open Letters, (February 18, 2008), Steve Donoghue, "A Death in the Family."