Paul Strathern (born 1940) is a British writer and academic. He was born in London, and studied at Trinity College, Dublin, after which he served in the Merchant Navy over a period of two years. He then lived on a Greek island. In 1966 he travelled overland to India and the Himalayas. His novel A Season in Abyssinia won a Somerset Maugham Award in 1972.Besides five novels, he has also written numerous books on science, philosophy, history, literature, medicine and economics. He is the author of two successful series of short introductory books: Philosophers in 90 Minutes and The Big Idea: Scientists Who Changed the World. His book on the history of chemistry entitled Mendeleyev's Dream (2001) was short-listed for the Aventis Prize, and his works have been translated into over two dozen languages. He is the author of the best-selling The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance, Napoleon in Egypt, and The Artist, the Philosopher and the Warrior: Leonardo, Machiavelli and Borgia - a fateful collusion. His most recent work The Spirit of Venice: from Marco Polo to Casanova came out in May 2012.Strathern was a lecturer at Kingston University where he taught philosophy and science. He lives in London, and has three grandchildren who live in Vienna: Tristan, Julian and Opajoke.