David Gibbins

David Gibbins

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Hello! I’m an archaeologist and best-selling author. I’ve written 13 novels that have sold over three million copies in thirty languages and been top-ten bestsellers in many countries. They include eleven novels in my Jack Howard series of archaeological thrillers and two historical novels set in the Roman period. I’ve also written a non-fiction book, A History of the World in Twelve Shipwrecks, published in the UK and US in 2024 with international editions out soon as well. Much of my writing is based on my own experiences as an underwater archaeologist and shipwreck explorer. I learned to dive in Canada aged 15 and had dived under ice, in flooded mines and on shipwrecks before I had left school. As an undergraduate at the University of Bristol in England I spent my summers excavating Roman shipwrecks off Sicily, and I continued doing that as a PhD student at the University of Cambridge. After holding a Research Scholarship at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and then a postdoctoral fellowship, I taught archaeology and ancient history at the University of Liverpool for seven years. Along the way I excavated at the Roman site of Carthage in Tunisia, held a Visiting Scholarship at St John’s College, Oxford and was an Adjunct Professorship at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology. After leaving academia to write full-time I spent much time diving with my brother on the shipwrecks of the Great Lakes in Canada, and then with my daughter as well after she learned to dive. I then developed another area of fascination in the historic shipwrecks of south-west England and moved to Cornwall to dive on treasure wrecks of the 17th and 18th centuries. As with many of my previous experiences, these have inspired my recent novels and form part of my non-fiction book A History of the World in Twelve Shipwrecks. When not writing or diving, I love travelling and exploring, visiting archaeological sites, mountaineering, canoeing and of course reading – among many other favourite authors I’m a great fan of Patrick O’Brian’s Jack Aubrey series of novels set at sea during the Napoleonic Wars, which I love as much for his wonderful language and the rich characterisation of Aubrey and his friend Stephen Maturin as I do for the historical context. I’m also a lifelong fan of Tolkien, having first read Lord of the Rings when I was twelve and loved it ever since.
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