Hugh Barnes is a journalist and Russian specialist, born in London in 1963 and educated at Oxford and Cambridge universities. He covered the wars in Kosovo for the Financial Times, New Statesman and Independent on Sunday, and the war in Afghanistan for the Sunday Times. He also worked in Moscow for three years as a correspondent for Agence France Presse. Hugh is also a well-known Russian literary critic and scholar. His novel Special Effects was hailed by the Sunday Telegraph as "fizzing with intriguing ideas".
Whether you know anything about Russian history or not (as in my case) you'll find Gannibal's narrative gripping and compelling and it's elegantly written too. Few stories can match that of Adam Petrovich Gannibal, adopted son of Peter the Great, ancestor of Pushkin and of a bevy of British aristocrats including the Mountbattens, for swashbuckling adventure. Until now little was known about his real life, which turns out to have been even more fascinating and bizarre than the legend of this 'Russian Othello'. In a thrilling hybrid of travelogue and historical detective story, Hugh Barnes investigates Gannibal’s half-forgotten African background (was he an Ethiopian prince or even a slave?), before unearthing lost documents and new clues that help to reconstruct the extraordinary life of an extraordinary man.