Besides five novels, he has also written numerous books on science, philosophy, history, literature, medicine and economics. He is the author of two successful series of short introductory books: Philosophers in 90 Minutes and The Big Idea: Scientists Who Changed the World. His book on the history of chemistry entitled Mendeleyev's Dream (2001) was short-listed for the Aventis Prize, and his works have been translated into over two dozen languages. He is the author of the best-selling The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance, Napoleon in Egypt, and The Artist, the Philosopher and the Warrior: Leonardo, Machiavelli and Borgia - a fateful collusion (2009). His most recent work The Spirit of Venice: from Marco Polo to Casanova came out in May 2012.
Strathern was a lecturer at Kingston University where he taught philosophy and mathematics . He has three grandsons who live in Vienna: Tristan, Julian and Opajoke.