Barnaby Rogerson

copyright Neil Spence

Barnaby Rogerson is a writer, publisher and television presenter. The House Divided: Sunni, Shia and the Making of the Middle East was published by Profile in January 2024. Rory Stewart praised it as “a masterly engagement with the most delicate and important of subjects – filled with gentle empathy, learning and rare balance a book looking at conflict zones within the Middle East complicated by the Shia-Sunni schism within Islam.”

Barnaby has appeared on the BBC Life of Muhammad, Al Jazeera’s Caliph and in Pilot productions, Muslim Empires series.

Barnaby was conceived on the Isle of Wight and born in Scotland in 1960. Travel was a vital aspect of his childhood which followed in the wake of his father’s career in the Royal Navy with postings to Gibraltar, Malta, Skye and Virginia.

Barnaby researched guidebooks to Morocco, Tunisia, Cyprus and Istanbul then wrote History of North Africa, followed by a Biography of the Prophet Muhammad, then an account of the early Caliphate, The Heirs of the Prophet.  The Last Crusaders (1415-1580) was an ambitious attempt to show how the Crusades against North Africa and the Ottoman Empire led to the emergence of the first colonial conquest states. This was followed by In Search of Ancient North Africa, which tells the complex story of conquest and assimilation through six lives.

Barnaby has also worked on a number of joint projects. He contributed the text for Don McCullin’s photographic study of Roman North Africa and the Levant, Southern Frontiers, which was followed (in 2023) by another joint project, Don McCullin: Journeys Across Roman Asia Minor.  He co-edited a collection of the contemporary travel writing Ox-Tales for the charity Oxfam, edited a collection of the travel literature of Marrakech, a collection of contemporary travel encounters with Islam; Meetings with Remarkable Muslims, a collection of English Orientalist verse, Desert Air, and a collection of the poetry of place of London. He has also put together a collection of the sacred numbers of the world, Rogerson’s Book of Numbers.

Barnaby was on the advisory board of Critical Muslim, the editorial board of Middle East in London and is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Royal Society of Asian Affairs. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a made an honorary member of The Travellers Club.

His day job is running Eland, a publishing house, which specializes in keeping classic travel books in print: www.travelbooks.co.uk

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