Author and Lecturer



Welcome to my website and I hope you will find something of interest.

As long as I can remember I have been interested in history and the religions of the world. This led me to studying both topics for my first degree and later a doctorate. For many years I worked with the Church of England in the capacity of Adviser in Inter Religious Relations. During this time I was also involved in a youth exchange programme with young Jews, Christians and Muslims in East London and Israel and in recognition of this I was made a Lay Canon of Chelmsford Cathedral.

Since then I have given many lectures on cruise ships and around the United Kingdom on the general theme of history. I am particularly interested in how historical events are influenced by religious ideas and how some of these themes are still with us today.

I have often been asked, when giving a lecture, if I have ever written anything. This was to be the inspiration for my first attempt at writing a book. I have now just published my eighth book on a History of Russia and about to commence on a History of China.

Occasionally I will post a short article on this site.  These will refer to a current event that relates to either the lectures or books.  If you would like to comment on any of these posts, please use the contact form.

Here are some samples of my Lectures and details of my latest Books

Please take a look.

New Publication: A History of China

A History of China

China - EBOOK - 300dpi ready copyNapoleon Bonaparte, when referring to China, famously said; “China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world.” His words were prophetic. For centuries China slumbered. Then, about forty years ago she woke up and since that time has risen to become the world’s second largest economy by GDP with the world’s greatest purchasing power.


paralleee-1050x526 copyThere is a sense that we in the West are living in two parallel worlds. By the West I mean people living in the United States, the United Kingdom and to a lesser degree, Europe in general.

Each world is not defined by location, nationality, ethnicity, gender or religion. Instead, each world is defined by a political ideology and it is an ideology that is forcing the two worlds further and further apart.

New Publication: A HISTORY OF RUSSIA

A History of Russia EBOOK version 300dpiRussia has recently marked one hundred years since the 1917 Russian Revolution and the overthrow of the Romanov Dynasty. Seventy-four years of Soviet rule followed, until 1991, when the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was dissolved.

It could be said that the Soviet experiment was simply a blip in the long history of the Russian people. But how, or why did the blip happen? More significantly, is the blip slowly being forgotten, while people and events from Russia’s ‘glorious’ past are re-emerging into the Russian consciousness?


Some recent reviews appearing on Amazon for The Ottoman Empire:

Excellent Big Picture Book:   Very well written with the book hitting all the key themes and forces. Everyone should read this book to understand the current wars/conflicts in Middle East. June 2017

An Informative Read:   Husband enjoyed reading this on our holiday to Turkey. August 2017

A Really Useful Book About a Complex and Obscure History: Concise, readable – a really useful book about a complex and obscure history. Puts the modern Balkans, Turkey and the Levant in context.  August 2017

Brief: As stated, it is “In Brief”. Not a book to read if you desire an in depth dive into the Ottoman Empire. If you know little about the subject and want a quick overview this is a great book. Very easy to read and put together nicely by the author. August 2017

Great Little Book:  Covers a time line from 1200 up to the end of WWI and is great brief history of the Ottoman Empire. September 2017

700 Years in a Few Pages: The book is an appetizer for deeper studying the history of that area. The links to today reality in a huge zone of the world are enlightening. September 2017

Great Read: This is a very interesting book. Explains how the world got where we are. Full of history we did not learn in school. September 2017





New Publication: THE MUGHAL EMPIRE


image 1 jpgIn 1526, a Turkic-Mongol warlord named Babur invaded Hindustan and established the Mughal Empire.



The first book in the In Brief” Books for Busy People series was From the Medes to the Mullahs: a history of Iran.  It was published in 2013.  Since that time there have been many changes not only in Iran, but also in the region generally. Furthermore, the election of Donald Trump as President Elect of the United States will undoubtedly affect relations between Iran and the West.

The book has therefore been updated and includes a revised Epilogue which follows:


On the 15th June 2013 Hassan Rouhani was democratically elected President of Iran, so replacing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Rouhani, who is considered to be a ‘moderate’ compared to his predecessor, is a cleric who studied at the prestigious seminary at Qom in Iran and later at Glasgow Caledonian University. He was previously Deputy Speaker of the Iranian Parliament and also led the Iranian team in negotiations with the UK, France and Germany on Iran’s nuclear programme.


CARAVAGGIO:  Rogue and Genius

Michaelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, better known as Caravaggio, was born in Northern Italy in 1571.  After studying art in Milan he travelled to Rome where he became a renowned Baroque painter receiving commissions from the Papal court and Roman aristocracy.

There was, however, a darker side to his life that resulted in him becoming a fugitive. While still on the run from the police and Papal authorities, he died mysteriously on a deserted beach at the age of 39. This talk tells his story.


THE CRUSADES:  A Holy War for a Holy Land

In 1095 the Pope called on the Kings and people of Western Europe to join a Crusade aimed at liberating the city of Jerusalem from the ‘barbaric Turks’. Between 1096 and 1204 four crusading armies travelled across Europe, through Anatolia, towards the Holy Land.

This talk begins by looking at the context of the Middle East at the time. It then goes on to tell of the people who joined the Crusades and why they went. The final part looks at the repercussions of the Crusades for Christian/Muslim relations today


THE MILITARY KNIGHTS: The Military Order of St John and the Knights Templar

At the time of the First Crusade in 1099, two powerful military orders were founded in Jerusalem. The Knights of St John, originally known as the Knights Hospitaller, were established in order to care for the sick and injured. The Knights Templar were given the role of protecting Christian pilgrims and the people of the Crusader States from the Muslims.

The Knights Templar were disbanded in the early 14th Century while the Knights of St John are still a world-wide organisation. This talk traces the history of the two Orders.



We look at the story of Abraham, who is said to have lived around 1800 BCE. He is considered by Jews, Christians and Muslims to be the first Patriarch of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; hence these Faiths are often referred to as the ‘Abrahamic Faiths’.

Whether or not Abraham really did exist, his legacy through literature and painting has survived down the centuries. This talk illustrates some of the greatest works of art depicting the life of Abraham.

NEW PUBLICATION: The Ottoman Empire


Today the hot spot of unrest is Syria, the repercussions of which are reverberating across the Western world. From the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in early 2011, it has been estimated that by February 2016, the total number of deaths due to the war stood at some 470,000 (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights). Internally displaced persons are given as over 7,600,000 with over 4,000,000 people made refugees (United Nations Commissioner for Refugees).

cover 2 Palatino copy

NEW PUBLICATION  The Ottoman Empire

This book begins with the arrival of the Turkic tribes into Anatolia in the 13th Century and covers the main events up to and including the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in 1923.

The final part of the book explores the link between today’s conflicts in the Middle East and the peace process following the First World War. A better understanding of this last period could help people make more sense of the complex situation in the Middle East today.

The book is written in a clear and accessible style with useful maps to help the reader navigate through what is a complex history.

As with other books in the ‘In Brief’ series, this book is aimed at the general reader who wants to understand a particular historical topic but does not have the time or inclination to read a heavy academic tome.

Available at Amazon UK as ebook and paperback. Buy

The Sanctions Fall and the Pendulum Swings

Slide1For over 30 years Iran has been living in exile from the rest of the world, a pariah state accused of promoting terrorism and building a nuclear bomb. It all started with the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and the subsequent hostage crisis when over 60 US diplomats and citizens were held hostage in the American Embassy in Tehran for 444 days.

Recent Reviews for ‘Paul of Tarsus: a First Century Radical’

Two recent reviews from verified purchasers on Amazon for Paul of Tarsus:  a First Century Radical

Info for Bible Study”

“Like this book. very easy to read, down to earth, everyday language. Full of background information as well as facts related to Paul’s life. Useful”


” Very brief but comprehensive in its own way. Gives an overview of the political, and cultural, world of the first century Roman empire and how St Paul fits in to the bigger picture.”

Available at Amazon UK as ebook and paperback  BUY

at Barnes and Noble as ebook and paperback   BUY

at Smashwords in all ebook formats    BUY



arab spring protestors in silhouette with crescent moon and star sign, vertical frame


Every time we hear that another young girl has left the security of her home to join the Islamic State we ask ‘Why?’ What is the attraction of this barbaric terrorist group that draws girls, and even young mothers with their children, from countries across Europe, North America, Russia, the Balkans and even Saudi Arabia and the Gulf?

New Publication:

arab spring protestors


This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to better understand the complex world of militant Islam.  It asks what is the justification, for example, for the barbaric executions of innocent people by the so-called ‘Islamic State’? On what grounds can this group claim authority to establish a ‘caliphate’ covering territory in Northern Iraq and Syria?

Post: The Hostage Dilemma


For several days the fate of two hostages was held in the balance while the world waited to see if ISIS would release them in exchange for a woman jihadist held in a Jordanian jail.