John Bowie was born in 1905. He was educated at Marlborough and Balliol College, Oxford, where he was a Brackenbury Scholar. He was a history master at Westminster and later at Eton. From 1947 to 1949 he was Lecturer in Modern History at Wadham College, Oxford, and from 1950 to 1967 he was Professor of Political Theory at the College d’Europe, Bruges. He has also been visiting Professor at important American universities. He was a Leverhulme Research Fellow from 1949 to 1950 and won an Arts Council Prize in 1966. He has written many history books, including Western Political Thought, Politics and Opinion in the 19th Century, Henry VIII, The English Experience and The Imperial Achievement. He was also editor of A Concise Encyclopaedia of World History, of which the revised edition was published in 1971. He lives in Oxford.