Philip Ziegler is one of Britain's finest biographers. His previous subjects have included Diana Cooper, Mountbatten, Edward VIII, Harold Wilson and Osbert Sitwell. He is a historian of the Black Death and has also written London at War, the history of the Blitz, and Soldiers, which was based on interviews with Chelsea Pensioners. Philip Ziegler was educated at Eton and New College, Oxford, where he gained first class honours in Jurisprudence. He then joined the Diplomatic Service and served in Vientiane, Paris, Pretoria and Bogota before resigning to join the publishers William Collins, where he was editorial director for over fifteen years.