Jun 13, 2013
Edward Rutherfurd was born in England, in the cathedral city of Salisbury. Educated locally, and at the universities of Cambridge, and Stanford, California, he subsequently worked in political research, bookselling and publishing. Abandoning this career in the book trade in 1983, he returned to his childhood home to write SARUM, a historical novel with a ten-thousand year storyline, set in the area around the ancient monument of Stonehenge. It was an instant international bestseller remaining 23 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. Since then he has written six more bestsellers: RUSSKA, a novel of Russia; LONDON; THE FOREST, set in England's New Forest which lies close by Sarum, and two novels which cover the story of Ireland from the time just before Saint Patrick to the twentieth century. In 2009 NEW YORK was published, and in 2013, PARIS.
Rutherfurd is the quintessential Literary Tourist. He 'walks' the cities he writes about, researches them, imagines them, and arrives at a personal understanding of them. We talk here about this process, about the importance of learning about the ordinary lives of people from the past, of writing short stories about the places you visit, and about history as reconnaissance and "finding out what happened to the last army that went there".