Paul Strathern (born 1940) is a British writer and academic. He was born in London, and studied at Trinity College, Dublin, after which he served in the Merchant Navy over a period of two years. He then lived on a Greek island. In 1966 he traveled overland to India and the Himalayas. His novel A Season in Abyssinia won a Somerset Maugham Award in 1972.

Besides five novels, he has also written numerous books on science, philosophy, history, literature, medicine, and economics.

Books in order of publication:

Novels

Pass by the Sea: A Novel (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1968)

A Season in Abyssinia: An Impersonation of Arthur Rimbaud (London: Macmillan, 1972; reissued London: Faber and Faber, 2014)

One Man’s War (London: Quartet Books, 1973; reprinted 1974)

Vaslav: An Impersonation of Nijinsky (London: Quartet Books, 1975)

The Adventures of Spiro (Brighton: Harvester Press, 1979)

Academic

Exploration by Land (Silk and Spices Routes Series; London: Belitha Press for UNESCO, 1993); published in Irish as Bóthar an tSíoda: taiscéalaíocht thar tír (Baile Átha Cliath [i.e. Dublin]: An Gúm, 2000)

Mendeleyev’s Dream: The Quest for the Elements (London: Hamish Hamilton, 2000; US edn. New York: St. Martins Press, 2001; reissued London: Penguin, 2001)

Dr Strangelove’s Game: A Brief History of Economic Genius (London: Hamish Hamilton, 2001; reissued London: Penguin, 2002); also published as A Brief History of Economic Genius (New York; London: Texere, 2002)

The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance (London: Jonathan Cape, 2003; reissued London: Vintage Books, 2007); also published as The Medici: Power, Money, and Ambition in the Italian Renaissance (New York: Pegasus Books, 2016); published in Italian as I Medici: potere, denaro e ambizione (I volti della storia, no. 427; Pisa: Newton Compton, 2017)

A Brief History of Medicine from Hippocrates to Gene Therapy (London: Robinson, 2005)

Napoleon in Egypt: The Greatest Glory (London: Jonathan Cape, 2007; reissued London: Vintage, 2008)

The Artist, the Philosopher and the Warrior: Leonardo, Machiavelli and Borgia. A Fateful Collusion (London: Jonathan Cape, 2009; reissued London: Vintage, 2010)

Death in Florence: the Medici, Savonarola and the Battle for the Soul of the Renaissance City (London: Jonathan Cape, 2011; reissued London: Vintage, 2012)

The Spirit of Venice: from Marco Polo to Casanova (London: Jonathan Cape, 2012; reissued London: Pimlico, 2013; digital edn. London: Vintage Digital, 2012)

The Periodic Table (The Knowledge Series, no. 3; London: Quadrille, 2015)

Quacks, Rogues and Charlatans of the Royal College of Physicians: 50 Books from the College Collection (500 Reflections on the Royal College of Physicians, 1518-2018; London: Little, Brown, 2016)

‘The Borgias: Power and Fortune’ (Atlantic 2019)

‘Rise and Fall: A History of the World in Ten Empires’ (Hodder 2019)

The Florentines: From Dante to Galileo, the Transformation of Western Civilization – (2021)

Philosophers in 90 Minutes/Virgin Philosophers

Wittgenstein (1889-1951) in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series; London: Constable, 1996); reissued as The Essential Wittgenstein (Virgin Philosophers Series; London: Virgin, 2002)

Hume (1711-76) in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series; London: Constable, 1996); reissued as The Essential Hume (Virgin Philosophers Series; London: Virgin, 2002); published in French as Hume, je connais! (Air de savoir. Série Les philosophes, je connais; Paris: Mallard Editions, 1998)

Kant (1724-1804) in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series; London: Constable, 1996); reissued as The Essential Kant (Virgin Philosophers Series; London: Virgin, 2002)

Locke (1632-1704) in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series; London: Constable, 1996)

Descartes in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series; Chicago: I.R. Dee, 1996); reissued as The Essential Descartes (Virgin Philosophers Series; London: Virgin, 2002)

Plato (428-348 BC) in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series; London: Constable, 1996); reissued as The Essential Plato (Virgin Philosophers Series; London: Virgin, 2002)

Aristotle (384-322 BC) in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series; London: Constable, 1996); reissued as The Essential Aristotle (Virgin Philosophers Series; London: Virgin, 2002)

Nietzsche (1844-1900) in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series; London: Constable, 1996); reissued as The Essential Nietzsche (Virgin Philosophers Series; London: Virgin, 2002)

St. Augustine in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series; London: Constable, 1997)

Sartre in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series; Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1998); reissued as The Essential Sartre (Virgin Philosophers Series; London: Virgin, 2002)

Machiavelli in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series; Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1998); reissued as The Essential Machiavelli (Virgin Philosophers Series; London: Virgin, 2002)

Confucius in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series; Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1999); reissued as The Essential Confucius (Virgin Philosophers Series; London: Virgin, 2002)

Foucault in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series; Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2000); reissued as The Essential Foucault (Virgin Philosophers Series; London: Virgin, 2002)

Marx in 90 Minutes Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series; Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2001); reissued as The Essential Marx (Virgin Philosophers Series; London: Virgin, 2002)

The Essential Derrida (Virgin Philosophers Series; London: Virgin, 2003)

The Essential Socrates (Virgin Philosophers Series; London: Virgin, 2003)

The Big Idea: Scientists Who Changed the World

Pythagoras & His Theorem (Big Idea Series; London: Arrow, 1997)

Turing & the Computer (Big Idea Series; London: Arrow, 1997)

Hawking & Black Holes (Big Idea Series; London: Arrow, 1997)

Newton & Gravity (Big Idea Series; London: Arrow, 1997)

Crick, Watson & DNA (Big Idea Series; London: Arrow, 1997)

Einstein & Relativity (Big Idea Series; London: Arrow, 1997)

Galileo & the Solar System (Big Idea Series; London: Arrow, 1998)

Bohr & Quantum Theory (Big Idea Series; London: Arrow, 1998)

Oppenheimer & the Bomb (Big Idea Series; London: Arrow, 1998)

Curie & Radioactivity (Big Idea Series; London: Arrow, 1998)

Archimedes & the Fulcrum (Big Idea Series; London: Arrow, 1998)

Darwin & Evolution (Big Idea Series; London: Arrow, 1998)

Travel

Greece and the Greek Islands: The Versatile Guide (London: Duncan Petersen, 1994; 2nd edn. 1996)

Florida: Travel Planner & Guide (London: Duncan Petersen, 1996)

Australia : Travel Planner & Guide (London: Duncan Peterson, 1997)