Philip Mansel is a historian of courts and cities, and of France and the Ottoman Empire. He was born in London in 1951 and educated at Eton College, where he was a King’s Scholar, and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he read Modern History and Modern Languages. Following four years’ research into the French court of the period 1814-1830, he was awarded his doctorate at University College, London in 1978.

His first book, Louis XVIII, was published in 1981 and this – together with subsequent works such as The Court of France 1789-1830 (1989), Paris Between Empires 1814-1852 (2001) – established him as an authority on the later French monarchy. Six of his books have been translated into French.

Altogether Philip Mansel has published eleven books of history and biography, mainly relating either to France or the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East: Sultans in Splendour was published in 1988, Constantinople: City of the World’s Desire 1453-1924 in 1995 and Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean in 2010.

Books in order of publication:

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Louis XVIII (London, Blond and Briggs, 1981)

  • Pillars of Monarchy: An Outline of the Political and Social History of Royal Guards, 1400–1984 (New York, Quartet Books, 1984)
  • The Eagle in Splendour: Napoleon I and His Court (London, George Philip, 1987 – new edition, IBTauris, 2015)
  • The Court of France: 1789–1830 (New York, Cambridge University Press, 1988)
  • Sultans in Splendour: The Last Years of the Ottoman World (New York, Vendome, 1989)
  • Constantinople: City of the World’s Desire, 1453–1924 (New York, St. Martin’s, 1995)
  • The French Émigrés in Europe and the Struggle against Revolution: 1789–1814 (New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1999) (Editor, with Kirsty Carpenter)
  • Paris Between Empires, 1814–1852 (London, John Murray, 2001)
  • Prince of Europe: the Life of Charles-Joseph de Ligne, 1735–1814 (London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2003)
  • Dressed to Rule: Royal and Court Costume from Louis XIV to Elizabeth II (New Haven, Yale University Press, 2005)
  • Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean (London, John Murray, 2010)
  • Monarchy and Exile: The Politics of Legitimacy from Marie de Médicis to Wilhelm II (London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) (Editor, with Torsten Riotte)
  • Aleppo: The Rise and Fall of Syria’s Great Merchant City (London, I.B.Tauris, 2016)
  • King of the World: the Life of Louis XIV (Penguin, 2019)