Robert D. Harris was born on March 7th, 1957. He is a Briton and writes his novels in English. He worked earlier as a journalist and a reporter with BBC. He began his career writing non-fiction works though he has become famous for historical fiction. He majored in stories around World War II then started to write works that had their setting in Rome. More recently, he has done work centered on contemporary history. Robert has authored several books some of which have been adapted for film. In addition, his books have been translated into 37 different languages. He writes books in the Historical Fiction, Nonfiction and Mystery and Thrillers genres. He and his wife live in Kintbury, in England.
Early life and Career
Robert was born and raised in a rented house in Nottingham. He aspired to be a writer when he was quite young and this desire was cemented in him more because of the visits he made to his father’s work place at the printing plant in the town where they lived. In high school, Robert was known for writing plays and editing the magazine in their school. While in school, he was also president of their Union and editor of the newspaper called ‘Varsity.’
When he left Cambridge, he worked with BBC on programs touching on current affairs and other news programs such as Newsnight. Another program he worked on was ‘Panorama.’ He became editor of ‘The Observer’ in the year 1987 and also wrote regularly for ‘Sunday Times’ and ‘Daily Telegraph.’ His book, ‘The Ghost’ was adapted for film and premiered on screens from the year 2010,
The book, ‘ Dictator: A novel (Cicero Trilogy)
This book introduces us to Cicero, a great orator, who is exiled and has no contact with his family: his wife and his children. He lives in torment because of the feelings he has of acute failure. He is still hopeful, though, because he knows that as long as he is alive, he has an opportunity to make changes.
He is allowed to go back to Rome because he has promised to support his enemy in politics – Caesar. While there, he works hard to get catapulted back to a life of prominence in courts, the senate and then ultimately, though briefly, he regains the status of a prominent statesman in his city.
This political adventure is overshadowed by the fact that once one is in the public eye, there are always the lurking dangers of the malicious and over-ambitious, even corrupt rivals who will not stop working hard to bring you down. It doesn’t matter how astute, cunning or brilliant the individual is.
This book tells of the journey of Cicero returning to Rome and the story of the political landscape in the country at the time in addition to the events that accompany his return. The book is as riveting as it is tumultuous giving a compelling story of the history of Rome as a republic and the civil war that followed, the murder of one Pompey and Julius Caesar’s assassination. However, the central theme of this book is how one can keep their political lives unadulterated by their own ambitions, selfish interests and the erosive and negative impact of constant wars that are totally senseless.
The portrayal of Cicero as one who eventually becomes a hero yet fearful more often than not, flawed at times but brilliant and brave as well, helps to give answers to the timeless problem that is presented in this book and is a phenomenon that resonates with issues in Cicero’s time as well as ours.
The book, ‘An Officer and a Spy’
The setting of this book is in Paris in the year 1895. We are introduced to the character of Alfred Dreyfus, who is a young officer of Jewish origins. The said officer has been tried and sentenced to a life in prison after being convicted of the dreaded treasonous charge. He will be imprisoned at Devil’s Island, and as if that is not all, his rank will be humiliatingly taken away from him in the presence of an angry crowd of people numbering in their thousands. Georges Picquart, described as ambitious as well as intellectual, who recently earned his promotion at the helm of the agency in charge of counterespionage would be present to witness Alfred’s humiliation as well. It is this agency that had provided evidence proving Alfred’s guilt at passing secrets to Germans.
Initially, Georges was convinced that Alfred was guilty as charged. However, shortly after Dreyfus starts his prison sentence at Devil’s Island, Picquart discovers information which points to the existence of a spy within France’s military who is yet to be uncovered. With mounting evidence of the most treacherous and the worst cancerous deceit which seems to emphatically extend its ugly tentacles towards the uppermost echelons of government, Georges has no choice but to query the concluded case against Alfred. As if that is not all, Georges goes ahead to question his deeply held convictions and beliefs about his own country and even himself.
Robert succeeds in adeptly awakening a scandal that shocked the entire world during the 20th century. He portrays a timely, mysterious story of witch-hunting, intelligence agencies that are complicit, tribunals that sit secretly to serve vested interests and the unfortunate misfortunes that befall a whistle-blower. Harris, delivers this dramatic version of a story with such unrivaled mastery that is not only unique but also a preserve of his other expertly crafted novels.
Robert Harris has set himself apart by creating timeless pieces of masterfully created literary works in the historical fiction, nonfiction and mystery thriller genres. In his characteristic element, he puts his best foot forward to write books which his readers await in anticipation. And he does not disappoint. His bestsellers are always read with nostalgia as they speak to a person as though they were written by one who had first hand information. The readers who love his books get treated to a glimpse into a part of history they were never aware of or that which they were not a part of but have the privilege of hearing it told by an expert. Once a reader begins reading, they can only stop when resounding conclusion is made. The books are as thrilling as they are informative.
Books in order of publication by series:
|The Fear Index||(2011)|
|An Officer and a Spy||(2013)|
|The Second Sleep||(2019)|
Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books
|A Higher Form of Killing: The Secret Story of Gas and Germ Warfare||(1982)|
|Gotcha: The Media, The Government and The Falklands Crisis||(1983)|
|The Making of Neil Kinnock||(1984)|
|Good and Faithful Servant: The Unauthorized Biography of Bernard Ingham||(1990)|
|Selling Hitler: The Story of the Hitler Diaries||(1996)|