Antony Beevor was educated at Winchester and Sandhurst, where he studied under John Keegan. A regular officer with the 11th Hussars, he left the Army to write. He has published four novels, and ten books of non-fiction. His work has appeared in more than thirty foreign editions and sold nearly six million copies. His books include The Spanish Civil War; Inside the British Army; Crete — The Battle and the Resistance, which was awarded a Runciman Prize, and Paris After the Liberation, 1944-1949 (written with his wife Artemis Cooper). He has also contributed to several books including The British Army, Manpower and Society into the Twenty-First Century, edited by Hew Strachan and to Russia – War, Peace & Diplomacy in honour of the late John Erickson.
Stalingrad, first published in 1998, won the first Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature in 1999. The British edition, a number one bestseller in both hardback and paperback. Berlin – The Downfall 1945,published in 2002, was accompanied by a BBC Timewatch programme on his research into the subject. It has been a No. 1 Bestseller in seven countries apart from Britain, and in the top five in another nine countries. The book received the first Longman-History Today Trustees’ Award.
In May 2004, he published The Mystery of Olga Chekhova, which describes the experiences of the Chekhov and Knipper families from before the Russian revolution until after the Second World War. His Russian research assistant Dr Lyubov Vinogradova and he have edited and translated the war time papers of the novelist Vasily Grossman, published in September 2005 as A Writer at War – Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-1945.
He has also published a completely revised edition of his 1982 history of the Spanish Civil War, with a great deal of new material from Spanish sources and foreign archives. This came out in Spain in September 2005 as La guerra civil española where it became the No.1 Bestseller and received the La Vanguardia prize for non-fiction. It appeared in English in spring, 2006, as The Battle for Spain – The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. It has been a top ten bestseller in eight countries.
D-Day – The Battle for Normandy, published in June 2009, has been a No 1 Bestseller in seven countries, including the UK and France, and in the top ten in another eight countries. It has received the Prix Henry Malherbe in France and the Westminster Medal from the Royal United Services Institute.
His most recent book, The Second World War, published in June 2012, is appearing in twenty-four foreign editions. It has already been a No 1 bestseller in Britain and four other countries, and a top-ten bestseller in another four.
Antony Beevor was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1997 and in 2008 was awarded the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana by the President of Estonia. He was elected a Fellow He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999. He was the 2002-2003 Lees-Knowles lecturer at Cambridge. In 2003, he received the first Longman-History Today Trustees’ Award. He is also Visiting Professor at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck College, University of London and at the University of Kent. In September 2003, he succeeded Philip Pullman as Chairman of the Society of Authors and handed over to Helen Dunmore in September, 2005. He has received honorary degrees of Doctor of Letters from the University of Kent, the University of Bath and the University of East Anglia. He was a judge of the British Academy Book Prize and the David Cohen Prize in 2004, and is a member of the Samuel Johnson Prize steering committee, the Writers Council of the American Library in Paris and the Council of the Society of Authors. In 2014 he was awarded the Pritzker Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Military Literature. He is married to the writer and biographer Artemis Cooper and they have a daughter Nella and a son Adam.
See Gallery for more images.
By John Carey: click here for a high resolution image
By John E Fry: click here for a high resolution image