I am the author of 'Outlaw - India's Bandit Queen and Me' (2010), 'A Brief History of Tea' (2009) an updated edition of 'Tea - Addiction Exploitation and Empire' (2003), 'The Great Hedge of India' (2001) and a novel, 'The Freelander' (1990). I was born and brought up in Evesham, Worcestershire. After working for a while on a Herefordshire fruit farm, I went out to Africa in 1961 as a tea planter in Nyasaland, later Malawi. I spent 13 years in Eastern Africa before returning to London to set up a gallery of African art.
Subsequently, I went to Camberwell College of Arts and qualified as a book and paper conservator. After a period at Canterbury Cathedral Archives I became Senior Conservator of the Senate House, University of London, Library. I also taught in the Institute of English Studies on a MA in 'The History of the Book.' Following 'retirement' I devote most of my energies to writing and giving talks. I spend half my time in London and the other half travelling, principally in India.