Desmond Seward

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Desmond Seward (born 22 May 1935, Paris) is a British popular historian and the author of many books, including biographies of Henry IV of France, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Marie Antoinette, Empress Eugenie and Napoleon's Family. He specializes in Britain and France in the late Middle Ages. He lives in the English countryside on the Berkshire-Wiltshire border.


Seward's father was William Eric Louis Seward, MC (1891-1975), a Franco-Irishman and industrialist in France (managing director of Timken Francais) whose experiences as a World War I aviator in Palestine were documented by his son in Wings over the Desert (2009). Born in Paris into a family long established at Bordeaux, Seward was educated at Ampleforth in North Yorkshire and at St Catharine's College, Cambridge.


  • The First Bourbon (1971)
  • The Monks of War: The Military Religious Orders (1972, new edn 2000, Spanish trans 2004)
  • Prince of the Renaissance (1973)
  • The Bourbon Kings of France (1976)
  • Eleanor of Aquitaine (1978)
  • The Hundred Years War (1978, new edn 1996)
  • Monks and Wine (1979, French trans 1982)
  • Marie Antoinette (1981)
  • Richard III (1983, new edn 1998)
  • Naples (1984)
  • Italy's Knights of St George (1986)
  • Napoleon's Family (1986)
  • Henry V (Henry V as Warlord; 1987)
  • Napoleon and Hitler (1988, Russian translation 1996)
  • Byzantium (with Susan Mountgarret, 1988)
  • Metternich (1991, German translation 1993)
  • Brooks's: A Social History (jt ed with Philip Ziegler, 1991)
  • The Dancing Sun: Journeys to the Miracle Shrines (1993)
  • Sussex (1995)
  • The Wars of the Roses (1995)
  • Caravaggio (1998, Japanese translation 2000)
  • Eugénie (2004)
  • Savonarola (2006)
  • Jerusalem's Traitor (2009, Hebrew trans 2012)
    • Also called: Josephus, Masada and the Fall of Judaea (da Capo, US, April 2009)
  • Wings over the Desert: In Action with an RFC pilot in Palestine, 1916-18 (Haynes Military, July 2009)
  • Old Puglia: A Portrait of South Eastern Italy (with Susan Mountgarret, 2009)
  • The Last White Rose: The Spectre at the Tudor Court, 1485-1547 (Constable, 2010; aka The Last White Rose: The Secret Wars of the Tudors).


Critical reception

Seward, an ultramontane Roman Catholic, has been criticized for his credulity in endorsing such religious phenomena as the “sun dancing” spectacle at Fátima in Portugal and elsewhere.[1]


External links