Historian and author. Chamberlin was the author of numerous popular history books ranging from ancient Rome to twentieth-century Britain. Although he was born in Jamaica, he returned to England with his father during the Great Depression. Chamberlin dropped out of school when he was fourteen and became an apprentice leather dresser.
When he was old enough, he eagerly left this work behind to enlist in the Royal Navy in 1944. He served in the military until 1947 and then found work at the Norwich Public Library. It was here that his real education began, and Chamberlin took advantage of his vocation by reading history texts avidly. He later also worked at the Holborn Public Library and then for the book division at Readers’ Digest.
His first book, The Count of Virtue: Giangaleazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, was released in 1965. This would be followed by thirty more books over the next three decades. Among these are The Bad Popes (1969), The Sack of Rome (1979), The Nineteenth Century (1983), The Emperor, Charlemagne (1986), and The Tower of London: An Illustrated History (1989). Also active in historical preservation projects, Chamberlin helped rescue the Guildford Institute building from destruction in 1982 and had a monument to Admiral Horatio Nelson constructed on Mt. Etna in Italy.
For the former endeavor, Chamberlin was recognized with an honorary degree from the University of Surrey in 1982.
The Idea of England
A fascinating literary study into what, exactly, we mean by ‘England’?More info →
Preserving the Past
A wide-ranging and readable book that explores how our attitudes to physical remnants of the past have changed through time.More info →
Son of a Pope, inspiration to Machiavelli, patron of Da Vinci, and fearsome soldier; Cesare Borgia is one of the most infamous figures of Italian history.More info →
Florence in the Time of the Medici
A brilliant history of one of the most beautiful cities in the world during the height of the Italian Renaissance.More info →
Antichrist and the Millennium
An engrossing account of how ideas surrounding the rise of the Antichrist and the end of the world have dominated human thoughts for thousands of years.More info →
The Awakening Giant: Britain in the Industrial Revolution
An insightful account of how the Industrial Revolution transformed Britain from a largely agricultural society to the workshop of the world.More info →
Life in Wartime Britain
An enlightening social history of World War Two on the Home Front.More info →
Marguerite of Valois: Queen of Navarre and France, 1553-1615
An enthralling biography of the remarkable queen, Marguerite of Valois, and the tumultuous decades of the French Wars of Religion.More info →
Everyday Life in Renaissance Times
A lively and penetrating social history of the Renaissance.More info →
Life in Medieval France
An enthralling social history of France during the Middle Ages.More info →
The Sack of Rome
An epic account of the moment when Renaissance Rome was torn apart and mercilessly destroyed by mutinous Christian soldiers.More info →
The Fall of the House of Borgia
An enthralling history of the most notorious family of Renaissance Italy.More info →
Loot!: The Heritage of Plunder
An illuminating history of artefacts and the questions of ownership that surround them. This should be essential reading for readers of Robert M. Edsel, Noah Charney and Alice Proctor.More info →
The Emperor Charlemagne
An authoritative biography of the greatest ruler of the medieval period.More info →
The Bad Popes
A dramatic account of some of the most notorious figures of medieval and Renaissance history who ruled from the Eternal City. Sure to grip readers of John Julius Norwich, Tom Holland and Peter Ackroyd.More info →