Matthew Kneale is the author of Rome: A History in Seven Sackings. He was born in London in 1960, the son and grandson of writers. He studied modern history at Magdalen College, Oxford. He has written five novels, including English Passengers, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and two nonfiction books. For the last fifteen years, he has lived in Rome with his wife and two children.