Christopher de Bellaigue was born in London in 1971, and was educated at Cambridge University, where he read Iranian and Indian Studies. Between 1995 and 2007, he lived and worked as a journalist in south Asia and the Middle East, writing for The Economist, Guardian and the New York Review of Books. He is the award-winning author of four books and has made several BBC television and radio programmes. He lives in London.
History at its most gripping ... This vivid study of
Suleyman the Magnificent is as enthralling as fiction * The Sunday
History at its most gripping * Daily Telegraph *
An urgent, immersive, present-tense gallop ... the book reads as a non-fiction novel ... cinematically vivid tableaux ... Each spangled scene ... rests on a solid foundation in the primary sources ... De Bellaigue enriches his storytelling with the colourful, meticulous dispatches of its traders, envoys and spies ... behind the bejewelled descriptive prose a thumping pulse of action tugs us through ... de Bellaigue's glittering, deft and often witty prose adds pleasure to each page * Financial Times *
Luminous, erudite ... a gripping account that evokes an epic poem, saga or 'book of kings' ... It is as immersive as the blurb claims, conjuring the world of the eastern Mediterranean, Anatolia and south-eastern Europe in the early 16th century with the limpid clarity of the many gems that stud its pages ... Even more than the detail, it is the characters that intrigue and often inspire ... The book leaves the reader with Suleiman truly magnificent * Spectator *
Those lucky readers who come to Christopher de Bellaigue's book in proximity to reading Mantel can suddenly have a new panel thrown open to them like an unfolding altarpiece ... all written in the present tense. This creates the obvious sense of liveliness and urgency ... Bellaigue sets about the task with such confidence and skill that it works ... a dazzling and dark work. Witty and often wise, it speaks to the frailties and the precarity of power -- David Aaronovitch * The Times *