Roger Crowley was born in 1951 and educated at Cambridge University. As the child of a naval family, early experiences of life in Malta gave him a deep interest in the history and culture of the Mediterranean world. After finishing school he spent his summers pottering in Greece; after university the Mediterranean took a deeper hold with a year spent on and off teaching English in Istanbul, exploring the city and walking across much of Western Turkey. In recent years he has made return trips to the Greek-speaking world, including two visits to Mount Athos, spiritual home of the Byzantine tradition. All this resulted in his well-reviewed first book, Constantinople: The Last Great Siege/1453 (2005). His second book, Empires of the Sea (2008), was the continuation of this dramatic passage of history: the great sixteenth-century contest between the Ottomans and Hapsburgs for control of the Mediterranean. It was the Sunday Times (UK) History Book of the Year in 2009 and a New York Times Bestseller. City of Fortune completes a loose trilogy of books about the history of the Mediterranean.

Roger has talked about the empires of the Mediterranean to audiences as diverse as Melvin Bragg’s BBC programme In Our Time, the Center for Naval Analyses in Washington, NATO, the Hay Festival and his local Women’s Institute. He has recently contributed to the forthcoming TV series Ottomans versus Christians: A Clash of Civilizations in 16th Century Europe. He is married and lives in England in the Gloucestershire countryside.

In search of Byzantium