John Van der Kiste


John Van der Kiste

John Van der Kiste, author, was born in Wendover, Buckinghamshire, in 1954, son of Wing Commander Guy Van der Kiste (1912-99). He was educated at Blundell's School, Tiverton, where he briefly formed a rock band Cobweb with fellow pupil Miles Tredinnick, later vocalist with new wave band London and subsequently playwright and scriptwriter, and read Librarianship at Ealing Technical College, where he edited the librarians’ student magazine.

He has worked for several years in public and academic libraries, but is best known as a writer. His first book, "Frederick III", appeared in 1981, and since then he has published over twenty historical biographies, as well as books on rock music and a novel. He is also a contributor to Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Guinness Rockopaedia, and has produced articles on historical, musical and art subjects in national and local journals, including "Illustrated London News", "Royalty Digest", "European Royal History Journal", "Best of British", "BBC History Magazine", "Record Collector", "Antique Collector", "This England", "The Independent", and "Gibbons Stamp Monthly". He has reviewed books and records for the press, written CD booklet notes, and between 1991 and 1996 edited the 70s rock fanzine "Keep on Rockin".

In 2002 he was a consultant for the BBC TV documentary 'The King, the Kaiser and the Tsar', first screened in January 2003.

He married professional musician and teacher Kim Graham (nee Geldard) in 2003 and lives in Devon.

Books:

Historical and royal biography

* "Frederick III, German Emperor 1888" (1981)
* "Queen Victoria's family: a select bibliography" (1982)
* "Dearest Affie: Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria's second son, 1844-1900"(with Bee Jordaan) (1984)
* "Queen Victoria's children" (1986)
* "Windsor and Habsburg: the British and Austrian reigning houses 1848-1922" (1987)
* "Edward VII's children" (1989)
* "Princess Victoria Melita, Grand Duchess Cyril of Russia, 1876-1936" (1991)
* "George V's children" (1991)
* "George III's children" (1992)
* "Crowns in a changing world: The British and European monarchies 1901-36" (1993)
* "Kings of the Hellenes: The Greek Kings 1863-1974" (1994)
* "Childhood at court 1819-1914" (1995)
* "Northern crowns: The Kings of modern Scandinavia" (1996)
* "King George II and Queen Caroline" (1997)
* "The Romanovs 1818-1959: Alexander II of Russia and his family" (1998)
* "Kaiser Wilhelm II: Germany's last Emperor" (1999)
* "The Georgian Princesses" (2000)
* "Dearest Vicky, Darling Fritz: Queen Victoria's eldest daughter and the German Emperor" (2001)
* "Royal visits in Devon and Cornwall" (2002)
* "Once a Grand Duchess: Xenia, sister of Nicholas II" (with Coryne Hall) (2002)
* "William and Mary" (2003)
* "Emperor Francis Joseph: Life, death and the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire" (2005)
* "Sons, servants and statesmen: The men in Queen Victoria’s life" (2006)
* "A divided kingdom: the Spanish monarchy from Isabel to Juan Carlos" (2007)

Music

* "Roxeventies: Popular music in Britain 1970-79" (1982)
* "The Roy Wood story" (1986)
* "Beyond the summertime: The Mungo Jerry story" (with Derek Wadeson) (1990)
* "Gilbert & Sullivan's Christmas" (2000) - anthology

Local history

* "Devon Murders" (2006)
* "Devonshire's Own" (2007)
* "Cornish Murders" (with Nicola Sly) (2007)

Fiction

* "The man on the moor" (2004)


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