Simon Montefiore’s ancestors escaped from the Tsarist Empire at the turn of the century, and sparked his lifelong interest in Russia.
As a correspondent in the early 1990s, he covered the wars and turbulence of the fall of the Soviet Union - from Georgia and Chechnya to Moscow and St Petersburg. As a historian, he has spent the last ten years researching the Russian archives. The personal stories he found there and his interviews with families helped inspire this novel.
His history books, Catherine the Great & Potemkin and Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar have been acclaimed bestsellers in over 30 languages. Young Stalin won the Costa Biography Prize and the LA Times Book Prize.
Born in 1965, Simon Montefiore lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children.
March 2009 Debut of the Month. A big, sweeping, romantic adventure of half a century of turbulent Russian history beautifully told. It pulls at the heart strings while informing, it forces you through the pages and remains with you long after. Revolution, passion, betrayal, full of hope and horror, the agony and the triumph of a bitter period, it is a very fine work indeed, recommended to both genders of any age. The author, after all, is a renowned historian and this is his first novel. Magnificent. Comparison: Tom Rob Smith, Robert Harris, Rose Tremain.