Neil Hanson is the author of an acclaimed series of popular histories: The Custom of the Sea, The Dreadful Judgement, The Confident Hope of a Miracle and The Unknown Soldier. Published by Doubleday in London and Knopf in New York, they have been hailed by critics on four continents as ‘astonishing’, ‘brilliant’, ‘haunting’, ‘extraordinary’, ‘marvellous’, ‘superb’, ‘superlative’, ‘a triumph’, ‘a masterpiece’, and ranked by one reviewer alongside ‘Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves and other immortals’. He has recently written a series of histories of aspects of the First World War: First Blitz, Monk Eastman and Escape from Germany, as well as editing Priestley’s Wars. His most recent book was a lighter ‘James Herriot-style’ account of his time as the landlord of Britain’s highest inn: The Inn at the Top.
As an anonymous ghost-writer and manuscript doctor, Neil has also written or rewritten more than 40 other books, including a New York Times ‘No 1 bestseller’, and has reviewed non-fiction for several newspapers, including the Sunday Times and the Los Angeles Times. He has lectured all over the world, including at the National Archives, London; Museum of London; Chicago Humanities Festival; Cambridge History Festival; Sydney Writers’ Festival; Brisbane Writers’ Festival (where he was voted ‘best speaker’ by festival audiences); National D-Day Museum, New Orleans; National World War I Museum, Kansas City; New Zealand Book Council; and the Pritzker Military Library, Chicago, whose director described Neil’s speech as ‘the best — and the best-received — of all the 100 events we have put on here’.