Simon Sebag Montefiore

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Person.png Simon Sebag Montefiore   TwitterRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Simon Jonathan Sebag Montefiore.jpg
Born27 June 1965
Alma materLudgrove School, Harrow School, Gonville and Caius College (Cambridge)
SpouseSanta Montefiore
Member ofJeffrey Epstein/Black book, Notting Hill Set
Relatives • Joseph Sebag-Montefiore
• Hugh Sebag-Montefiore
British well-connected historian specializing is perpetuating the black legend against Russia.

Simon Jonathan Sebag Montefiore is a British historian, journalist and author. Portions of his work have been translated into 48 languages[1]. His specialty is the perpetuation of the black legend against Russia, in the tradition of the Information Research Department.

He and his wife's names are listed in Jeffrey Epstein's black book. Montefiore is part of the Notting Hill set, a "coterie of rich, privileged, Oxbridge-educated careerists who were chums of David Cameron when he launched his ultimately successful bid to become Tory leader."[2]


Stephen Eric Sebag-Montefiore, Simon's father, was a surgeon and descended from Sephardic Jews who immigrated to England from Italy in the 18th century and made a fortune there; the sheriff of London, banker and philanthropist Moses Montefiore was his great-uncle. Simon's mother Phyllis April Jaffé comes from a family of destitute Lithuanian Jews who fled the Russian Empire around 1900.[3]

The dual surname Sebag-Montefiore originated when Simon's great-grandfather Joseph Sebag, the eldest son of Solomon Sebag and Sarah Montefiore, merged his parents' names by royal authority in 1885. Sarah was the eldest sister of Moses Montefiore, who had no children of is own. Simon Sebag Montefiore, who writes his own name without a hyphen, is married to the writer Santa Montefiore, née Palmer-Tomkinson. The couple have two children and live in the London Borough of Kensington. The author Hugh Sebag-Montefiore is his brother.

Montefiore lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children.[4] The couple are friends of King Charles III and the Queen Consort.[5] He introduced future Prime Minister David Cameron to Charles at an amicable dinner at his home in December 2006, after the prince indicated he wanted to get to know the young opposition leader. His friends include not just Cameron but George Osborne and his wife, and Michael Gove.[6]


Sebag Montefiore was educated at Ludgrove School and Harrow School where he was editor of the school newspaper, The Harrovian. In the autumn of 1983 he interviewed Margaret Thatcher for The Harrovian.[7][8] He won an Exhibition to read history at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge[4] where he received his Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD).[9]


He was in Russia at the time of the dissolution of the union. As a war correspondent in the 1990s he covered Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia during the Karabakh war; Ossetia and Abkhazia; Chechnya and Grozny; and the fighting in Moscow in 1993.[10] He writes for The Sunday Times, The Spectator and The New York Times, among others.

He finds "deeply evil" the oft-aired comparison "of Israeli defence of its own security with the (actions of the) Nazis".[6]

His books mostly are about about Russia, the Caucasus and the Middle East.


  • Catherine the Great and Potemkin (2001) (originally published as The Prince of Princes: The Life of Potemkin)
  • Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar (2003)
  • Young Stalin (2007)
  • Monsters: History's Most Evil Men and Women (2008)
  • Jerusalem: The Biography (2011)
  • Titans of History (2012)
  • The Romanovs 1613–1918 (2016)
  • King's Parade (1991)[11]
  • My Affair with Stalin (1997)[12]
  • Sashenka (2008)
  • One Night in Winter (2013)
  • Red Sky at Noon (2017)