Butterworth, Alex

views updated

Butterworth, Alex




Agent—Synopsis Literary Agency, P.O. Box 21816, London SW6 5ZU, England.




New Generation Prize (with Ray Laurence), Longman History Today Awards, 2006, for Pompeii: The Living City.


(With Ray Laurence) Pompeii: The Living City, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 2005, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Also playwright and contributor to the television documentary The Private Lives of Pompeii. Contributor to periodicals.


Alex Butterworth is a writer who has worked in theater, film, and television. He is also the author, with Ray Laurence, of Pompeii: The Living City. Butterworth met Laurence while conducting research for the documentary The Private Lives of Pompeii. The two became friends and decided to write a book about the city doomed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 C.E. The authors' look at Pompeii, which begins twenty-five years before the disastrous eruption, is based on archeological evidence and ancient writings. Butterworth and Laurence delve not only into the city itself but also many of its individual inhabitants, providing both historical and fictionalized accounts of what daily life may have been like. "There is an emphasis within this book on weaving both Imperial and provincial figures, events and episodes into the narrative," noted Pamela Marin in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review. A Publishers Weekly contributor considered the work to be "a first-rate and compelling history of an ancient city." In a review in History Today, Michael Fulford commented: "There is a fantastic wealth of information in this book, some of which is contained in a series of footnotes." Fulford went on to conclude that Pompeii is "a superb student introduction into the Roman world, Pompeii and city life."



Bryn Mawr Classical Review, December 4, 2005, Pamela Marin, review of Pompeii: The Living City.

Contemporary Review, November, 2005, review of Pompeii, p. 316.

History Today, November, 2005, Alex Butterworth, "Not the Eternal City," review of Pompeii, p. 2; March, 2006, Michael Fulford, review of Pompeii, p. 63.

Library Journal, October 1, 2006, Robert J. Andres, review of Pompeii, p. 88.

Observer (London, England), June 26, 2005, Jane Stevenson, review of Pompeii.

Publishers Weekly, August 7, 2006, review of Pompeii, p. 42.

Spectator, September 3, 2005, Jane Gardam, review of Pompeii, p. 36.

Times (London, England), June 5, 2005, Mary Beard, review of Pompeii.


History Today Online,http://www.historytoday.com/ (December 18, 2006), "Longman History Today Awards 2006."

Synopsis Literary Agency Web site,http://www.synopsis-agency.co.uk/ (December 18, 2006), brief profile of Alex Butterworth.

About this article

Butterworth, Alex

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article