Simon Sebag Montefiore, one of our most popular historians, and also presenter of BBC television series on Istanbul, Rome and Jerusalem, selects the essential cast of dramatic characters who built, destroyed or changed the three great Holy Cities.
The creators of Istanbul: from the murderous visionary Constantine the Great to the ultimate power couple, Justinian and his burlesque-dancer-turned-empress Theodora, to Suleiman the Magnificent and his wife Roxelana, all the way to Ataturk. In Jerusalem: from Herod the Great, who killed his beloved wife and three sons, to the great Crusader queen Melisende and the Arab conqueror Saladin. In Rome, from psychotic Caligula and the philosopher Marcus Aurelius to the megalomanical seductress Marozia, the Borgias and Mussolini.
These are stories and characters that everyone should know and no one should forget.
Simon Sebag Montefiore is a prizewinning historian whose bestselling books have been published in over forty-five languages. CATHERINE THE GREAT AND POTEMKIN was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize; STALIN: THE COURT OF THE RED TSAR won the History Book of the Year Prize at the British Book Awards; YOUNG STALIN won the Costa Biography Award, LA Times Biography Prize and Le Grand Prix de Biographie; JERUSALEM: THE BIOGRAPHY was a number one bestseller and won the Jewish Book Council's Book of the Year prize; THE ROMANOVS: 1613-1918 was an international bestseller and won the Lupicaia del Terriccio Book Prize. Montefiore is also the author of the acclaimed novels SASHENKA, RED SKY AT NOON and ONE NIGHT IN WINTER, which won the Paddy Power Political Fiction Book of the Year Award. He read history at Cambridge University where he received his PhD, and now lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children.