Simon Sebag Montefiore
Montefiore's father is descended from a line of wealthy Sephardic Jews who were diplomats and bankers all over Europe. At the start of the 19th century, his great-great uncle, Sir Moses Montefiore, became a banking partner of N M Rothschild & Sons. His mother, Phillis (also known as April) comes from a Lithuanian Jewish family of poor scholars. Her parents fled the Russian Empire at the turn of the 20th century. They bought tickets for New York City, but were cheated, being instead dropped off at Cork, Ireland. During the Limerick Pogrom of 1904 they left Ireland and moved to Newcastle, England.
Personal and professional life
Montefiore was educated at Ludgrove School, Harrow School, and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he read history. He went on to work as a banker and foreign affairs journalist.
Montefiore’s books have been world bestsellers, published in 33 languages. His first history book, Catherine the Great & Potemkin, was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson, Duff Cooper, and Marsh Biography Prizes. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar won History Book of the Year at the 2004 British Book Awards. Young Stalin won the LA Times Book Prize for Best Biography, the Costa Book Award, the Bruno Kreisky Award for Political Literature, the Prix de la Biographie Politique and was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.
His novel, Sashenka, set in twentieth century Russia, appeared in 2008. His latest history book is Jerusalem: the Biography, a fresh history of the Middle East.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children. His father-in-law is the Anglo-Argentine landowner Charles Palmer-Tomkinson, his brother is Hugh Sebag-Montefiore and his sister-in-law is the socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson. His friends include Prince Charles, British prime minister David Cameron and Koo Stark.
- Non Fiction
- Jerusalem: The Biography, 2011 ISBN 978-0-297-85265-0
- 101 World Heroes, 2009
- Monsters – History's most evil men and women, 2008
- Young Stalin, 2008
- Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, 2005, 2004 ISBN 1-4000-4230-5 ISBN 978-1400042302
- Potemkin: Catherine the Great's Imperial Partner, 2005
Catherine the Great and Potemkin, 2004
- Speeches that Changed the World: The Stories and Transcripts of the Moments that Made History, 2008, 2007
Speeches that Changed the World, 2007
- Piggy Foxy and the Sword of Revolution: Bolshevik Self-Portraits (Annals of Communism Series) with Alexander Vatlin, Larisa Malashenko and Vadim A. Staklo, 2006
- A History of Caucasus, 2005 ISBN 0-297-81925-9 ISBN 978-0297819257
- Sashenka, 2008
- My Affair with Stalin, 2004
- King's Parade, 1992
- Speeches that Changed The World
Notes and references
- "Simon Sebag Montefiore". Newsnight Review. BBC News. 18 July 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
- Galaxy British Book Awards: History Book of the Year 2004.
- "2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Awarded". Los Angeles Times. 25 April 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
- Anderson, Hephzibah (2 January 2008). "A.L. Kennedy's `Day,' Montefiore's `Young Stalin' Win Costas". Bloomberg. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
- "Simon Sebag Montefiore - The Author". Orion Books. 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
- Flood, Alison (26 August 2008). "Biographer celebrates 'fairy gold' prize win". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
- Ward, Vicky (22 January 2008). "History in the Making". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
- Cavendish, Lucy (7 March 2005). "Royalty, Tara and best-selling books". This Is London. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
- BBC Media Centre
- Wellspring of Holiness, Jerusalem: The Making of a Holy City (Episode 1), Youtube
- Author website
- Part One Booknotes interview with Montefiore on Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, June 20, 2004
- Part Two of Booknotes interview with Montefiore, June 27, 2004