Born in 1965, Simon Sebag Montefiore is an historian and writer whose works are world bestsellers, now published in 35 languages.
Simon’s PRINCE OF PRINCES: THE LIFE OF POTEMKIN was published to universal critical acclaim in 2001 by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in the UK and in 2002 by St. Martin’s Press in America and thereafter by Vintage. It was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson, Duff Cooper, and Marsh Biography Prizes. In May 2007 Phoenix reissued this title as CATHERINE THE GREAT & POTEMKIN.
In 2003 STALIN: THE COURT OF THE RED TSAR was published to ecstatic reviews. It became an instant international bestseller and won the History Book of the Year Prize at the 2004 British Book Awards.
He has written the introduction to SPEECHES THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (Quercus) which was one of the best-selling titles of Christmas 2006. His popular compendium of inspiring men and women from history - 101 WORLD HEROES: GREAT MEN AND WOMEN FOR AN UNHEROIC AGE (Quercus) -was published in September 2007. The companion to this title - MONSTERS: HISTORY'S MOST EVIL MEN AND WOMEN – was published by Quercus for Christmas 2008.
May 2007 saw the publication of Simon's YOUNG STALIN (Weidenfeld and Nicolson), the companion and prequel to STALIN: THE COURT OF THE RED TSAR, both of which are published in the USA by Alfred Knopf and Vintage. YOUNG STALIN went on to win the 2007 Costa Biography Award, the LA Times Book Prize for Biography , the Bruno Kreisky Prize for Political Literature, the Prix de la Biographie Politique and has been shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Miramax and Ruby Films have bought the film rights to YOUNG STALIN and the movie is currently in development.
Simon has published three novels to date. His first novel, KING’S PARADE, a comedy set in Cambridge at the height of Thatcherism, was published in 1991 and described by the Times as 'brutal satire, something like a cross between Evelyn Waugh and Simon Raven'. In 1997, Orion published his well-received second novel, MY AFFAIR WITH STALIN. A wickedly black comedy, set in a public school in the seventies, this is a highly original guide to first love, brutal dictatorship - and Josef Stalin. SASHENKA, a trans-generational Russian saga, was published in 2008.
In 1996, Simon presented a Channel 4 documentary on his 2000 mile desert quest for slavery in Mauritania. He has presented travel and history programmes for Channel 4 and BBC2 (such as Timewatch, Travels with My Camera and a series of interviews for Channel Four) as well as appearing as an expert storyteller on a great many British, American, German and French documentaries on Russia, Stalin, Catherine the Great, the Middle East, and contemporary culture and politics. In 2011, he presented “Jerusalem: The Making of a Holy City” – a three-part series for the BBC.
JERUSALEM: THE BIOGRAPHY was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in January 2011. It quickly became a number one bestseller, and was chosen by former US president Bill Clinton as his Number 1 book of the year on NBC’s “The Today Show”.
Simon’s next non-fiction project will be about THE ROMANOVS. He is also currently working on his new novel THE GAME which will be published by Century in 2013.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children. He has recently been appointed Visiting Professor at the School of Humanities Research at the University of Buckingham.