I was born in Cambridge, England, in 1965. When I left university
in 1987 it was to become an investment banker with Barclays de Zoete Wedd, a firm that is now, sadly, defunct. After business
school in France I became a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. In 1996, I joined Faber and Faber, a publishing firm founded by my grandfather in the 1920s. I was managing director there until 2001.
Now I am
a non-executive director of Faber and Faber and Chairman of its sister company Faber Music, but I spend most of my time writing, with two books published to date - one on the violin-maker Antonio Stradivari, the other on the Imperial Easter Eggs made by Carl Fabergé. Both are narrative
histories intended for a general readership - longer on words than pictures.
You could say that my career trajectory
is one that has taken me away from money towards quality of life. My experience as a publisher undoubtedly helped me become
a published author: I knew how to write proposals, and it wasn't hard for me to get an agent. Neither of my books, however,
is published by Faber and Faber. In the US, the publisher of my first two books is Random House, and the UK it is Macmillan.
I have given lectures about Antonio Stradivari at The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Library of Congress, The Huntington Library in Pasadena, The City University of New York, Central St Martins College of Art and Design, The Chester Literature Festival, The Presteigne Music Festival, The Royal Geographical Society and The Cheltenham Music Festival, and about Carl Fabergé at the V&A (again), The Hillwood Museum in Washington DC, The Walters Museum in Baltimore, The Theatre Royal, Bath, The Hay Festival, the Harrogate International Festival and The Royal Asiatic Society. The lectures at the RGS and the RAS were in aid of KINOE, a charity founded by my wife. A lecture I gave at Holts Academy of Jewellery in Hatton Garden in aid of the charity, Spiro Ark was a great experience, as the lecture space was a jewellery workshop, surrounded by workbenches very similar to those
you see in the old photographs of the Faberge workshops.
I enjoy public speaking, am always open to bookings
and am on the NADFAS directory of lecturers. For synopses of my lectures and study days please see the relevant page on the sidebar.
I am a trustee of Yale University Press (UK), a great academic publisher, and recently stepped down from the board of the excellent drugs charity, Release. In January 2010 I was elected as a non-executive director of the Authors Licensing and Collection Society, or ALCS, and through that I am now also a non-executive director of the Copyright Licensing Agency, CLA.
I live in London with my wife and two daughters. The photo above shows me in Wales, in the hills above Dolgellau,
where we spend a lot of our time.
My main agent is Caroline Dawnay at United Agents. In the US I am represented by Zoe Pagnamenta.