Stephen Bates was educated at Oxford University, where he took a degree in Modern History. He was a journalist for 36 years, working for the BBC, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail before joining the Guardian where he was subsequently education editor, political correspondent, European Affairs Editor, based in Brussels for five years, and finally the paper's religious affairs and royal correspondent. He reported from more than 40 countries on everything from wars and elections to royal visits, was named British religion writer of the year in 2005 and 2006 and is the author of three previous books: A Church at War: Anglicans and Homosexuality (Hodder and Stoughton); Asquith (Haus), a biography of the Edwardian prime minister and God's Own Country: Religion and Politics in the US (Hodder and Stoughton). A regular broadcaster, he also writes for the Spectator, New Statesman and Time Magazine. He lives in Kent.
His Two Nations - Britain in 1846, his history of a pivotal year in our history, was published by Head of Zeus in 2014. Duckworth and Overlook published The Poisoner, his biography of the notorious Victorian serial killer, Dr William Palmer, on both sides of the Atlantic in 2014. His first novel, The Photographer's Boy was published by Premier Digital in the US in 2013. 1815: Regency Britain in the Year of Waterloo was published by Head of Zeus in 2015. Royalty Inc. about the function of - and challenges to - the British Royal Family was published to critical acclaim by Aurum in 2015. Icon published his true crime The Poisonous Solicitor in 2022. His The Shortest History of the Crown was published by Old Street in 2022.
Icon will publish his next true crime - The Man Who Sold Honours in 2024.