Simon Sebag Montefiore

Historian

Nationality: British Born: June 27, 1965

Alan Alexander Milne, better known as A. A. Milne, was an author and poet from England, who was particularly famous for being the creator of the character Winnie the Pooh. Milne was educated at the University of Cambridge and initially worked as a playwright; however it was as the writer of Winnie the Pooh in 1926 that he became famous. It was followed up by The House at Pooh Corner two year later. Other than that, he was a prolific writer who wrote children’s short story and poetry collections, newspaper columns, plays and had also been a columnist for the popular magazine Punch.
I'm the sort of person who, if I arrive in a city under siege, in the middle of nowhere, I'll always find my way to the leader of the rebels. I just don't know how.
I'm the last person who would end up doing something that needs meticulous compilation of facts. It's totally against my character. I live by impulse. I'm totally ill-suited to writing history books.
I'm not disciplined at all. I barely function. But I get a lot done. I take days off all the time, but when I work, I work very fast and very efficiently. But I'm always having days when I'm feeling a little anxious, and I take a day off. I work in a funny way.
It's the mix of the trivial and the great events that make up history. It's the low things about high people that make it fascinating, and that's why it would be a shame to exclude the trivial things. That mixing up is not just at the heart of history. It's at the heart of how to live a great life.
We have far too many Tudors. Henry VIII is far too over-rated. He's become the ultimate brand name, like the Marks & Spencers of a high street of British history. I'm more interested in King Herod.
Most history books are about power.
I much prefer writing fiction. History books, for me, are very hard work, very serious.
I don't think Jerusalem should be controlled 100% by religious people of any denomination, sect, or religion - even my own.
Writing fiction is very different to writing non-fiction. I love writing novels, but on history books, like my biographies of Stalin or Catherine the Great or Jerusalem, I spend endless hours doing vast amounts of research. But it ends up being based on the same principle as all writing about people: and that is curiosity!
When I was young, I always wanted to go to Russia.
I'm an enormous fan of American literature, and especially the great novels of Larry McMurtry, 'Lonesome Dove,' Cormac McCarthy, Elmore Leonard.
I see the world as an adventure thriller and a voyage of discovery. To me, all lives are lives of mystery and secrecy, and that's what I write about.