Tom Holland (author)

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Thomas Holland (born 1968) is a British novelist and historian, who has published several popular works on classical and medieval history as well as creating two documentaries.


Holland was born near Oxford and brought up in the village of Broadchalke near Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. He was educated at Chafyn Grove School, Canford School, and Queens' College, Cambridge,[1] where he obtained a double First in English and Latin.[2] He has adapted Herodotus, Homer, Thucydides and Virgil for BBC Radio 4.[citation needed] His novels are set in the past, and generally include a supernatural/horror element. He is the author of several non-fiction books about the ancient world.

In 2004, he was awarded the Hessell-Tiltman Prize, awarded to the best work of non-fiction of historical content, for his book Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic.[3]

In 2011, he presented and wrote Dinosaurs, Myths and Monsters, a BBC Four programme exploring the influence of fossils on mythology.[4]

In August 2012, he produced a documentary for Channel 4 entitled Islam: The Untold Story,[5] which provoked what Holland described as "a firestorm of death threats" against him.[6] Contributors included Professor Patricia Crone. The programme generated a strongly negative response from some British Muslims, with more than 1,000 complaints received by Ofcom and Channel 4.[7][8] A planned screening of Islam: The Untold Story before an audience of historians was cancelled, due to security concerns raised from threats received by Holland as a result of the documentary.[9][10]

In August 2014, Holland was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Holland lives in London with his wife and two daughters. He is a keen cricket fan and member of the Authors XI cricket team.[12] He has written about receiving batting training from England captain Alastair Cook, and once hit a six.[13]



  • The Vampyre: Being the True Pilgrimage of George Gordon, Sixth Lord Byron (1995), ISBN 0-316-91227-1 (published in the US as Lord of the Dead)
  • Supping with Panthers (1996), ISBN 0-316-87622-4 (published in the US as Slave of My Thirst)


Short fiction[edit]





  1. ^ 'HOLLAND, Thomas (born 5 January 1968)' in Who's Who 2013
  2. ^ Georges T. Dodds (June 1999). "A Conversation With Tom Holland". The SF Site. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Hessell-Tiltman Prize". English PEN. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Dinosaurs, Myths and Monsters". BBC. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Islam – The Untold Story". Channel 4. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  6. ^ Holland, Tom (8 January 2015). "Viewpoint: The roots of the battle for free speech". BBC News Magazine. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Lisa O'Carroll (3 September 2012). "Channel 4 documentary Islam: The Untold Story receives 1,200 complaints". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Christopher Howse (29 August 2012). "Islam: the Untold Story, review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  9. ^ John Hall (11 September 2012). "Channel 4 cancels controversial screening of Islam: The Untold Story documentary after presenter Tom Holland is threatened". The Independent. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "Channel 4 cancels screening of Islam film over security fears". The Week. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  12. ^ Marcus Berkmann (25 Jul 2013), The pen is mightier than the cricket bat: THE AUTHORS XI: A SEASON OF ENGLISH CRICKET FROM HACKNEY TO HAMBLEDON BY THE AUTHORS CRICKET CLUB, MailOnline, retrieved 21 Jan 2015 
  13. ^ Holland, Tom (2013-11-15). "FT Masterclass: Batting with Alastair Cook". Retrieved 2014-08-26. 

External links[edit]