Recommended by Heywood Hill Reader Emma Tennant:
'I have just discovered a brilliant historian, Philip Mansel. He has the knack of combining the big picture - the broad narrative sweep - with the telling anecdotes that bring history alive. On a recent trip to the Aegean I read two of his books: Constantinople and Levant. My holiday was greatly enriched thereby. Do politicians ever have time to read? Levant should be compulsory homework for anyone involved in Middle Eastern diplomacy (as should Ayaan Hirsi Ali's fascinating new book Heretic).'
Emma Tennant is a botanical artist, gardener and general reader