Paul Strathern

Biography

Paul Strathern was born in London, and studied at Trinity College, Dublin, after which he served in the Merchant Navy over a period of two years. He then lived on a Greek island. In 1966 he travelled overland to India and the Himalayas. His novel A Season in Abyssinia won a Somerset Maugham Award in 1972.

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He has written numerous books on science, philosophy, history, literature and economics, including his series Writers in 90 MinutesPhilosophers in 90 Minutes and Scientists in 90 Minutes.  Other books include The Medici: Godfathers of the RenaissanceMendeleyev’s Dream: The Quest for the Elements, Dr Strangelove’s Game: A Brief History of Economic Genius, Napoleon in Egypt, and The Artist, The Philosopher and the Warrior which examines the intersecting lives of three of Italy’s most influential Renaissance figures – Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolo Machiavelli and Cesare Borgia.

Death in Florence, is the story of the battle for man’s soul and the clash between secular capitalist society and religious fundamentalism in 15th century Italy.

Borgias is an elegant, sweeping and immaculately researched account of the Borgias family whose name has echoed down the centuries.

Rise and Fall charts the history of the world through it’s ten greatest empires, from the Akkadian Empire to modern-day America.

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Books

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A Burning Sea
A Burning Sea
A Burning Sea
A Burning Sea
A Burning Sea
A Burning Sea
A Burning Sea
A Burning Sea
A Burning Sea
A Burning Sea
A Burning Sea
A Burning Sea
A Burning Sea
A Burning Sea

Articles

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Machiavelli’s Shirt

Machiavelli’s Shirt

Machiavelli's Shirt ‘And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?’ W B Yeats, The Second Coming.‘How could I possibly tell you what the sermon was about? You know that I never listen to such things.’ Machiavelli, in a letter to his friend, ...
Historical Heroes: Dante Alighieri

Historical Heroes: Dante Alighieri

In 1308, the exiled Florentine poet Dante Alighieri described how, midway through his life, he found himself lost amidst a dark wood, with no sign of a path. He had no idea how he had arrived where he was. His mind was fogged; it was as if he had woken from a deep slumber. After walking for a ...
The History of Cities

The History of Cities

Cities come and go, some destroyed by humanity, others by nature, others simply abandoned. Several decades ago, I happened upon an example of the last kind, in India. The redstone city was deserted, its wide empty paved streets extending into the distance towards the fortified walls. The ...

Author Interviews

Paul Strathern, interviewed by Deborah Kalb.
What role did Florence play at the end of the 15th century, and what were some of the factors that led to its prominence?At the end of 15th century Florence had become the epicentre of the Renaissance. This was one of the great cultural resurgences of European history, which took place after almost a millennium of the Medieval ...
AoH Book Club: Paul Strathern on Napoleon in Egypt
Paul, your book was published 15 years ago to great acclaim. Why did you write it, after all it’s the only book you’ve written on the Napoleonic period.First and foremost I wrote Napoleon in Egypt because it was such an gripping story - one which included everything from ambitious adventure and military ‘glory’ to the ...