Dr Philip Mansel MA (Oxon), DPhil (University College, London)

The history of royal courts


Research and publications

Philip Mansel’s principal areas of research are France, the later Ottoman Empire, and the history of courts. He is a member of the Conseil Scientifique of the Centre de Recherche du Chateau de Versailles. He is also an editor of The Court Historian, the journal of the Society for Court Studies, which he helped to found in 1995.


His books include Louis XVIII (1981), Sultans in Splendour (1988), The Court of France 1789–1830 (1989), Constantinople: City of the World’s Desire 1453–1924 (1995), Paris Between Empires 1814-1852 (2001), Prince of Europe: The Life of Charles-Joseph de Ligne 1735-1814 (2003) and Dressed to Rule: Royal and Court Costume from Louis XIV to Elizabeth II (2005). He was co-editor with Kirsty Carpenter of The French Émigrés in Europe and the Struggle Against Revolution 1789–1814 (1999). Six of his books have been translated into French. 


Over the past 30 years he has written reviews and articles for a wide range of newspapers and journals, including History Today, English Historical Review and The Times Literary Supplement, and has contributed to catalogues of exhibitions on Winterhalter, Zonaro and Thomas Hope.  His latest books are Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean (2010), a history of modern Smyrna, Alexandria and Beirut, and Monarchy and Exile: the Politics of Legitimacy (2011, a collection of articles on courts in exile, co-edited with Torsten Riotte). He is currently writing a biography of Louis XIV.  In 2012 he received the London Library Life in Literature award.