Paul Strathern
Agent(s): Julian Alexander

Paul Strathern is a Somerset Maugham Award-winning writer and academic.  He has written numerous books on science, philosophy, history, literature and economics, including his series Writers in 90 MinutesPhilosophers in 90 Minutes and Scientists in 90 Minutes.  Other books include The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance (Vintage, 2007), Mendeleyev’s Dream: The Quest for the Elements (Penguin, 2001), Dr Strangelove’s Game: A Brief History of Economic Genius (Hamish, 2001), Napoleon in Egypt (Penguin, 2009), and The Artist, The Philosopher and the Warrior (Bantam, 2011) which examines the intersecting lives of three of Italy’s most influential Renaissance figures – Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolo Machiavelli and Cesare Borgia.

Death in Florence (Cape, 2017), is the story of the battle for man’s soul and the clash between secular capitalist society and religious fundamentalism in 15th century Italy.

The Borgias (Atlantic, 2019) is an elegant, sweeping and immaculately researched account of the Borgias family whose name has echoed down the centuries.

Rise and Fall (Hodder & Stoughton, 2019) charts the history of the world through it’s ten greatest empires, from the Akkadian Empire to modern-day America.

The Florentines (Atlantic Books, 2021) is a sweeping 400-year history revealing how, and why, these new ideas which formed the Renaissance began, and flourished, in the city of Florence. While vividly bringing to life the city and a vast cast of characters – including Dante, Botticelli, Machiavelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Galileo – Strathern shows how these great Florentines forever altered Europe and the Western world.

Ten Cities That Led The World (Hodder & Stoughton, 2022) tells the story of ten unique cities, from the founding of ancient capitals to buzzing modern megacities, Paul explores how urban centres lead civilisation forward, enjoying a moment of glory before passing on the baton.

The Other Renaissance (Atlantic 2023), shows how the ‘Other Renaissance’ would play a role at least as significant as the Italian Renaissance in shattering the constraints of medieval life and bringing our modern world into being.

Dark Brilliance (Atlantic, 2024) is a sweeping history of the Age of Reason, which shows how, although it was a time of progress in many areas, it was also an era of brutality and intolerance.

Books