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Cawthorne, Nigel 1951-

Cawthorne, Nigel 1951-


Born March 27, 1951, in Chicago, IL; son of Colin Wilson (an engineer) and Barbara Cawthorne; married Margaret Virginia Aberdeen, December, 1975 (divorced, 1985); children: Colin King. Education: University of London, B.Sc. (with honors), 1973.


Home—London, England. Agent—Richard Gollner, 17 Avenue Mansions, Finchley Rd., London NW3 7AX, England. E-mail—[email protected]


Writer, journalist, editor. IPC Business Press (now Reed International Publishing), cub reporter for Electrical and Electronic Trader, 1975-76; Club International, New York, NY, writer, 1976-77; Hi-Fi Weekly, writer, 1977; Haymarket Publishing, writer for What Hi-Fi? and Popular Hi-Fi, 1977; New York Herald Tribune, New York, NY, reviewer and features writer, 1977-78; Davis Publications, member of editorial staff, 1978; Financial Times, writer and producer of World Business Weekly, 1978-79; freelance writer, 1979—. Guest on television and radio programs in the United States and abroad.


National Union of Journalists.



How to Build an Airliner (juvenile), Aladdin Books (London, England), published as Airliner, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1988.

The Bamboo Cage; The Full Story of the American Servicemen Still Held Hostage in South-East Asia, Leo Cooper (London, England), 1991.

Satanic Murder, True Crime (London, England), 1995.

The Art of India, Laurel Glen (San Diego, CA), 1997.

The Art of Japanese Prints, Laurel Glen (San Diego, CA), 1997.

The Art of Native North America, Laurel Glen (San Diego, CA), 1997.

Secrets of Love: The Erotic Arts Through the Ages, HarperSanFrancisco (San Francisco, CA), 1997.

Sex Lives of the Hollywood Idols, Prion (London, England), 1997.

Sex Lives of the Great Artists, Prion (London, England), 1998.

The Art of the Aztecs, Laurel Glen (San Diego, CA), 1999.

Images of the Cat, Laurel Glen (San Diego, CA), 1999.

(With Ike Turner) Takin' Back My Name: The Confessions of Ike Turner, Virgin (London, England), 1999.

The Art of the Icon, Laurel Glen (San Diego, CA), 2000.

The Empress of South America, Heinemann (London, England), 2003.

Military Commanders: The 100 Greatest Throughout History (young adult), Enchanted Lion Books (New York, NY), 2004.

The Strange Laws of Old England, Portrait (London, England), 2005.

Public Executions, Arcturus Foulsham (London, England), 2006.

The Amorous Antics of Old England, Portrait (London, England), 2006.

Author of How to Access Mortgages and Loans, Ward, Lock; Prisoners of War, Orbis; Run a Successful Video Production Company, Which Business Publications; and The Sixties Sourcebook, W.H. Allen. For Carlton Publishing, author of Sex Lives of the Popes, Sex Livesof the US Presidents, Sex Lives of Gays, Sex Lives of Lesbians, Sex Lives of the Great Dictators, Sex Lives of the Hollywood Goddesses 2, Sex Lives of the Kings and Queens of England, Sex Lives of the Hollywood Goddesses, and Sex Lives of the Great Composers. Author of other books, including Sex Killers, The Presidency, Images of the Cat, World's Greatest Royal Scandals, World's Greatest Political Scandals, World's Greatest Cults, World's Worst Atrocities, World's Greatest Serial Killers, World's Greatest UFO and Alien Encounters, World's Greatest Alien Encounters, World's Greatest UFO Encounters, World's Greatest UFO Sightings, World's Greatest Alien Abductions, World's Greatest Alien Conspiracy Theories, 911 Exposed, Steps, Another Level, 5ive, B*Witched, The Vulva: An Exploration of the Female Genitalia Through Art and Literature, Magical Mythery Tour, The History of the SS Cricket Team, The Alien Who Thought He Was Elvis, Vietnam: A War Lost and Won, Steel Fist, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Real History of Witch Burning, Million Dollar Trivia, 100 Great Disasters, Alexander the Great, 100 Tyrants and Despots, and Che Guevara. Also author of computer titles, including An Introduction to MS-DOS, Simple Graphics on the BBC, Understanding the 68000, Write a Computer Sound Program, and Write a Computer Haunted House Program. Contributor and editor to Tomorrow's Technology, Octopus Books; American Football, Marshall Cavendish; and The Loving Touch, Marshall Cavendish. Editor of The History of Aviation, Dragon's World. Coauthor of The Movie, Orbis; A Walk on the Wild Side, Orbis; and World Reference Encyclopaedia, Octopus Books. Work represented in anthologies, including Nam and Eyewitness Nam, Hamlyn. Columnist for Black Beauty and Hair. Contributor to more than a hundred magazines and newspapers, including Flatbush Life, Wine and Spirit, Science Now, Wildlife, Disc and That, and Stereo Review. Editor of Science and Mechanics, New Car Yearbook, New Car Guide, Carpentry, Furniture Maker, and Woodworker, 1978.


The author, editor, or contributor to over sixty books, Nigel Cawthorne has written on subjects ranging from "skiing, computing, finance, fashion, sex, war, politics, art, music, engineering, science, history, crime and American football," as he notes on his author Web site. An editor and journalist in the United States for many years, Cawthorne makes his home in England, where he writes books for adults and young adults with British and international focus.

Cawthorne's first published book, Airliner, was targeted at the juvenile audience, and with the 2004 Military Commanders: The 100 Greatest Throughout History, he adds another title to his list of books for younger readers. Cawthorne divides this study into thirteen epochs, from the ancient world to the world wars of the twentieth century and beyond, focusing on leaders from Hannibal to Colin Powell. Booklist contributor Roger Leslie called Military Commanders a "compact resource [that] covers solid information." Leslie further thought the book "should prove a helpful, easy-to-use quick-reference resource in both middle-and high-school libraries." Similarly, School Library Journal writer L.R. Little found the same work "an easy-to-read resource that is suitable for students with little or no background."

Writing for adults, Cawthorne has proved himself both eclectic and prolific. His Sex Lives of the Hollywood Goddesses is one of a series of books examining behavior behind closed doors. In other titles he looks at the sex lives of U.S. presidents, artists, popes, dictators, and kings and queens of England. Reviewing Sex Lives of the Hollywood Goddesses for Lambda Book Report, David Tedhams was critical of Cawthorne's portraits of various stars, calling the work "a cheap tabloid in paperback form; unsupported, tacky, and distasteful." Cawthorne turned his focus to another female siren in his 2003 biography, The Empress of South America. The lady in question was the Irishwoman, Eliza Lynch, who, in the late nineteenth century, became the mistress of the Paraguayan dictator, Francisco Lopez, and ultimately bore him six children. The people of Paraguay might have been scandalized had they had the time or chance. However, Lopez managed to thrust his country into a disastrous confrontation with three of its neighbors, Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The result was the War of the Triple Alliance (1864-70), during which a full eighty percent of Paraguayan men were lost, due to the fighting, disease, or malnutrition. The women and children of Paraguay were also afflicted by this war, while Lopez and his mistress continued to live their high life. Miranda France, writing in the Spectator, noted that "Cawthorne believes that Lynch's ambition to become empress of South America fueled her lover's war-mongering." France went on to note that Cawthorne's prose "feels authoritative." Times Literary Supplement critic Isabel Hilton also observed that "Cawthorne blames the War of the Triple Alliance on his subject's character." For Newsweek writer Benjamin Moser, "Cawthorne revels in the lurid aspects of the story." There were many such, for, as Moser pointed out, "it's an irresistible story, better suited to grand opera than to history."



Booklist, September 1, 1988, review of Airliner, p. 74; June 1, 2004, Roger Leslie, review of Military Commanders: The 100 Greatest Throughout History, p. 1752.

Far Eastern Economic Review, July 11, 1991, Nick Freeman, review of The Bamboo Cage: The Full Story of the American Servicemen Still Held Hostage in South-East Asia, p. 32.

Journal of Criminal Law, August, 2005, Damian Warburton, review of The Strange Laws of Old England, pp. 361-362.

Lambda Book Report, March, 1998, David Tedhams, review of Sex Lives of the Hollywood Goddesses, p. 11.

Newsweek, May 5, 2003, Benjamin Moser, review of The Empress of South America, p. 53.

Reference & Research Book News, May, 1999, reviews of The Art of Native North America, The Art of India, and The Art of Japanese Prints, pp. 43, 158, 162.

School Library Journal, April, 2004, L.R. Little, review of Military Commanders, p. 167.

Spectator, February 15, 2003, Miranda France, review of The Empress of South America, p. 37.

Times Literary Supplement, June 28, 1991, Richard West, review of The Bamboo Cage, p. 9; February 7, 2003, Isabel Hilton, review of The Empress of South America, p. 12.


Nigel Cawthorne Home Page, (February 28, 2007).

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