Matthew d'Ancona

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Matthew d'Ancona
Matthew d'Ancona 01.jpg
Matthew d'Ancona
Born (1968-01-27) 27 January 1968 (age 47)
United Kingdom
Nationality British
Education St Dunstan's College
Magdalen College, Oxford
All Souls College, Oxford
Occupation Journalist
Known for Editor of The Spectator
Columnist for The Daily Telegraph

Matthew d'Ancona (born 27 January 1968)[1] is a British journalist. A former deputy editor of the Sunday Telegraph, he was appointed editor of The Spectator in February 2006, a post he retained until August 2009.

Early life[edit]

D'Ancona's father came from Malta to Britain to study and ended up playing youth football for Newcastle United[2] before becoming a civil servant. According to d'Ancona, his father was also many times Maltese tennis champion. His mother was an English teacher.


D'Ancona was educated at St Dunstan's College, an independent school for boys (now co-educational) in Catford in south London, where he was head boy and captain of judo. He also showed an early aptitude for journalism by winning an essay writing competition run by The Observer on the subject of the future of British industry. He went to Magdalen College at the University of Oxford, where he took the top First in Modern History for his year in 1989. The same year, he was elected a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

Life and career[edit]

After a year studying medieval confession, he joined the magazine Index on Censorship, before proceeding to The Times as a trainee. There he rose swiftly to become Education Correspondent and then Assistant Editor at the age of 26.

He joined The Sunday Telegraph in 1996 as deputy comment editor and columnist, before becoming Deputy Editor. He wrote a weekly political column in The Sunday Telegraph for a decade, in which role he "is treated as the best insight into Cameronism by Conservative MPs".[3] He succeeded Boris Johnson as editor of The Spectator, and made some major structural changes to the magazine, not all of which were universally popular with readers. On 28 August 2009 it was announced that d'Ancona would be stepping down as editor to be replaced by Fraser Nelson. It was immediately unclear what his future plans would be. Private Eye reported in its issue of September 15 that d'Ancona had been sacked as editor although it did not elaborate in the reasons. Shortly afterwards, he was recruited by the Evening Standard as a weekly columnist, so far appearing on a Monday. The same newspaper reported in late October 2009 that d'Ancona was set to become a Hollywood scriptwriter for a film about the art historian Bernard Berenson. He is also reportedly writing a history of England with John Cleese.

While not himself a believer,[4] d'Ancona is also the co-author of two books on early Christian theology, The Jesus Papyrus and The Quest for the True Cross. He has written three novels, Going East, Tabatha's Code and Nothing to Fear. D'Ancona has also written several articles for the British political magazine Prospect.

In January 2015, d'Ancona joined The Guardian as a weekly columnist.[5] In the conclusion to an article on the radicalisation of the IS militant known as 'Jihadi John', published by The Guardian on 1 March 2015, d'Ancona supplied the following insight: "What made Emwazi become what he has become, able to do what he has done? What we call “radicalisation” – the walk from one side of the flaming bridge to the other – often occurs in a very short space of time, for reasons that resist pat psychological speculation: to know the reasons why would be to decode the secrets of the soul. Against such mysteries it is not the power of the state that is truly frightening, but its weakness."[6]


External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Kim Fletcher
Deputy Editor of the Sunday Telegraph
Succeeded by
Richard Ellis
Preceded by
Boris Johnson
Editor of The Spectator
Succeeded by
Fraser Nelson