Hello Everyone: My name is Stephen Bates - welcome to my website…
I am a British writer and award-winning journalist. I hope you might find some of my books and articles of interest.
I have been a journalist for 37 years and reported from more than 40 countries around the world, for the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and – for 22 of those years – for The Guardian.
In all, I spent nearly 28 years working on the staff for British national newspapers in senior positions, in one of the toughest and most competitive media markets in the world.
I also had a spell as a television and radio journalist for the BBC, at Birmingham in the Midlands and then for the BBC’s Parliamentary unit at the House of Commons in London. So a fairly crab-wise progress round the ideological shoals of the British Media: from Right to Left: tabloid, broadsheet and Berliner.
I was the Daily Mail’s education correspondent, then the Guardian’s education editor. I spent time covering British politics at Westminster for the BBC, then the Daily Telegraph and then the Guardian. I moved on to be the Guardian’s European Affairs Editor, based in Brussels with my family for nearly five years and then, in 2000, returned to London where I became the Guardian’s religious affairs and royal correspondent: covering as I always said two institutions the paper didn’t believe in…that didn’t prevent me being made British religious writer of the year in 2005 and 2006 by the Churches’ Media Council though. As a royal reporter I covered visits, overseas tours, court cases (the royal butlers…), deaths and funerals (Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother), jubilees and even a wedding.
Even as a six year old I was keen to write
My likes? Great cricket fan (and ever-hopeful Hampshire supporter…), Cinema and Theatre. I never much good at acting, but the last time I was in a play was with a promising youngster who I gave a lift to rehearsals. He couldn’t decide whether to become an actor or a journalist himself, so I advised journalism: a secure job and £25 a week - in 1978. His name was Kenneth Branagh…oh well.
History is my passion and I feel lucky to be writing about it most days now. I’ve always enjoyed trying to feel and understand what living in the past was really like – and of course you never can, which is what makes it such an intriguing pleasure.
I have an honours degree in Modern History from Oxford University, where I was an undergraduate for three years in the mid-1970s.
My specialist period - and subject of several of my books - is the 19th and early 20th Centuries.
I am married with three grown-up children and I live in Kent, England. In 2013 we moved to the coast at Deal, almost within sight of France. We live in an 18th Century listed town house, built circa 1730, overlooking an ancient church and its cemetery and right next door to a venerable pub, named after an 18th Century English admiral who dropped in there one day to drown his sorrows.
I’m always happy to respond to commissions from new sources in UK and abroad. In the last year I have written for The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, Times Literary Supplement, The Literary Review, History Today, The Tablet and the Church Times and broadcast on the BBC, LBC, RTE, Radio NZ and CBC in Canada. In the past I’ve also written for The Spectator, New Statesman and Time Magazine as well.
My books have mainly been works of journalism, with a sideline in modern history, which I am now developing further as you will see. My novel, The Photographer’s Boy, was published in the US and UK by Premier Digital, in both e-book and print editions, in July 2013 and there will be two non-fiction works this year. The Photographer's Boy has been entered for two awards and received good online reviews.
I have recently finished writing another book for Head of Zeus on Britain in 1815, the year of the Battle of Waterloo (and quite a lot of other things were happening that year too...) It will be called "1815: Regency Britain in the Year of Waterloo"and is scheduled for publication in January 2015.
And I have just reached agreement with Aurum to write a book about the British Monarchy. Its title at the moment is going to be Royalty Inc and it will come out in September 2015, at about the time the Queen passes Victoria as Britain's longest reigning monarch.