Tom Holland

Tom Holland

Thomas "Tom" Holland (born 1968) is an English writer and popular historian, who has published several works on classical and medieval history. As well as his writing, he has worked with the BBC to create two TV documentaries, also focusing on history.

Holland was born in Oxfordshire and brought up in the village of Broadchalke near Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. He was educated at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he obtained a double First in English and Latin.

n 2004, he was awarded the Hessell-Tiltman Prize, awarded to the best work of non-fiction of historical content, for his book Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic.

In 2005, James Buchan reviewed Persian Fire positively for The Guardian newspaper, while Paul Cartledge, a professor of Greek history at Cambridge University recommended it for The Independent thus: "If Persian Fire does not win the Samuel Johnson Prize, there is no justice in this world." Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, historian Dominic Sandbrookreported it as "riveting" and praised the "enormous strengths" of the author.

In February 2011, he presented and wrote Dinosaurs, Myths and Monsters, a BBC Four television programme exploring the influence of fossils on mythology.

In August 2012, he produced a documentary for Channel 4 television entitled Islam: The Untold Story, which provoked what Holland described as "a firestorm of death threats" against him. Contributors included Professor Patricia Crone. The programme generated more than 1,000 complaints received by Ofcom and Channel 4. A planned screening of Islam: The Untold Story before an audience of historians was cancelled, due to security concerns raised from threats received by Holland as a result of the documentary. Iranian State media called it an insult to Islam and the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA) accused Holland of making “baseless assumptions” and engaging in “selective scholarship”. His book on Islam In the Shadow of the Sword was criticized by Glen Bowersock of the Guardian of being written in "a swashbuckling style that aims more to unsettle his readers than to instruct them," and devoid of quality.

In 2016, Holland was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire

In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Isla...

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