Rachel Holmes is a writer, broadcaster, columnist and reviewer. Formerly an academic, Holmes held lectureships in English at Queen Mary College, University of London and the University of Sussex. She is also the coordinator of Friends of the TAC, an international activist and lobbying organization that supports the Treatment Action Campaign in the fight for HIV and AIDS in South Africa. Her books include Scanty Particulars: The Life of Dr. James Barry (2002) and African Queen: the Real Life of the Hottentot Venus (2007). African Queen is a probing look at historical racism and sexual exploitation presented through the life of an extraordinary woman, Saartjie Baartmen, the so-called Hottentot Venus, exhibited in 1810 in London and Paris.