Simon Sebag Montefiore
Simon Jonathan Sebag Montefiore (icon; born 27 June 1965, London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

) is a British historian and writer.

Family history

Simon's father, a doctor, is descended from a famous line of wealthy Sephardic Jews who became diplomats and bankers all over Europe. At the start of the 19th century, by playing the markets based on intelligence about the Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

, Simon's great-great uncle, Sir Moses Montefiore
Moses Montefiore
Sir Moses Haim Montefiore, 1st Baronet, Kt was one of the most famous British Jews of the 19th century. Montefiore was a financier, banker, philanthropist and Sheriff of London...

, became a banking partner of N M Rothschild & Sons
N M Rothschild & Sons
N M Rothschild & Sons is a private investment banking company, belonging to the Rothschild family...

. By contrast, Simon’s mother, April, a novelist, comes from a Lithuanian Jewish family of poor scholars. Her parents fled the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 at the turn of the 20th century. They bought tickets for New York City but were cheated and dropped off at Cork
Cork (city)
Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city in the province of Munster. Cork has a population of 119,418, while the addition of the suburban...

, Ireland. During the Limerick boycott of 1904 they left Ireland, despite offers of hospitality in Irish homes, and moved to Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

, England.

Early life

Simon was educated at Ludgrove School
Ludgrove School
Ludgrove School is an independent preparatory boarding school for about 200 boys, aged from seven or eight years to thirteen. It is situated in the civil parish of Wokingham Without, adjoining the town of Wokingham in the English county of Berkshire.-History:...

, Harrow
Harrow School
Harrow School, commonly known simply as "Harrow", is an English independent school for boys situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London.. The school is of worldwide renown. There is some evidence that there has been a school on the site since 1243 but the Harrow School we know today was...

, and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
Gonville and Caius College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England. The college is often referred to simply as "Caius" , after its second founder, John Keys, who fashionably latinised the spelling of his name after studying in Italy.- Outline :Gonville and...

, where he read history. He went on to work as a banker and foreign affairs journalist.

Montefiore’s books are 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
Bruno Kreisky Award
The Bruno Kreisky Award is a biennial award created in October 1976 on the occasion of the 65th birthday of Bruno Kreisky. The laureates are rewarded for their achievements in the field of human rights...

 for Political Literature, the Prix de la Biographie Politique and has been shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize
James Tait Black Memorial Prize
Founded in 1919, the James Tait Black Memorial Prizes are among the oldest and most prestigious book prizes awarded for literature written in the English language and are Britain's oldest literary awards...


Miramax Films
Miramax Films
Miramax Films is an American entertainment company known for distributing independent and foreign films. For its first 14 years the company was privately owned by its founders, Bob and Harvey Weinstein...

 and Ruby Films have bought the rights and are currently developing a movie of Young Stalin.

He also wrote a novel, Sashenka, and his next history book is Jerusalem: the Biography, a fresh history of the Middle East.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
Royal Society of Literature
The Royal Society of Literature is the "senior literary organisation in Britain". It was founded in 1820 by George IV, in order to "reward literary merit and excite literary talent". The Society's first president was Thomas Burgess, who later became the Bishop of Salisbury...

, he lives in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore
Santa Montefiore
Santa Montefiore, born Santa Palmer-Tomkinson, is a British author.Santa is the sister of Tara Palmer-Tomkinson. Her parents are Charles Palmer-Tomkinson and Patricia Palmer-Tomkinson, of Anglo-Argentine background. Her father represented his country in skiing at Olympic level...

, and their two children. His father-in-law is the Anglo-Argentine landowner Charles Palmer-Tomkinson
Charles Palmer-Tomkinson
Charles Anthony Palmer-Tomkinson is an English landowner, a former English skier, and a close friend of Prince Charles.-Olympian:...

, his brother is Hugh Sebag-Montefiore
Hugh Sebag-Montefiore
Hugh Sebag-Montefiore is a British writer. He trained as a barrister before becoming a journalist and then a non-fiction writer. His second book "Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man" was published in 2006...

 and his sister-in-law is the socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson also known as T P-T, is an English socialite, "it girl", television presenter, columnist and model...

. His friends include Prince Charles, British prime minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 David Cameron
David Cameron
David William Donald Cameron is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service and Leader of the Conservative Party. Cameron represents Witney as its Member of Parliament ....

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 1400042305 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 0297819259 ISBN 978-0297819257
  • King's Parade, 1992

  • Sashenka, 2008
  • My Affair with Stalin, 2004

External links

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