Norwich was born at the Alfred House Nursing Home on Portland Place in Marylebone, London, on 15 September 1929. He was the son of Conservative politician and diplomat Duff Cooper, later Viscount Norwich, and of Lady Diana Manners, a celebrated beauty and society figure. He was given the name "Julius" in part because he was born by caesarean section. Such was his mother's fame as an actress and beauty that the birth attracted a crowd outside the nursing home and hundreds of letters of congratulations. Through his father, he was descended from King William IV and his mistress Dorothea Jordan.
In 1964, Norwich left the diplomatic service to become a writer. His subsequent books included histories of Sicily under the Normans (1967, 1970), Venice (1977, 1981), the Byzantine Empire (1988, 1992, 1995), the Mediterranean (2006) and the Papacy (2011), amongst others (see list below). He also served as editor of series such as Great Architecture of the World, The Italian World, The New Shell Guides to Great Britain, The Oxford Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Art and the Duff Cooper Diaries.
Christmas Crackers were compiled from whatever attracted Norwich: letters and diaries and gravestones and poems, boastful Who's Who entries, indexes from biographies, word games such as palindromes, holorhymes and mnemonics, occasionally in untranslated Greek, French, Latin, German or whatever language they were sourced from, as well as such oddities as a review from the American outdoors magazine Field and Stream concerning the republication of Lady Chatterley's Lover.
His final Christmas Cracker was the 49th. It was put together during the early part of 2018 and he corrected the final proofs from his hospital bed before he died on 1 June 2018.
Personal life and deathEdit
Norwich's first wife was Anne Frances May Clifford, daughter of the Hon. Sir Bede Clifford; they had one daughter, the Hon. Artemis Cooper, a historian, and a son, the Hon. Jason Charles Duff Bede Cooper, an architect. After their divorce, Norwich married his second wife, the Hon. Mary (Makins) Philipps, daughter of The 1st Baron Sherfield.
On the Battlements of a Tower Argent a Bull passant Sable armed and unguled Or
Or three Lions rampant Gules on a Chief Azure a Portcullis chained between two Fleurs-de-lis of the first
On either side a Unicorn Argent gorged with a Collar with Chain reflexed over the back Or pendent from the collar of the dexter a Portcullis chained and from that of the sinister a Fleur-de-lys both Gold
Venice: a Traveller's Companion (an anthology compiled by Lord Norwich), Constable, 1990, ISBN 978-0-09-467550-6
Oxford Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Art (editor) Oxford, 1990
The Normans in the South and The Kingdom in the Sun, on Norman Sicily, later republished as The Normans in Sicily, Penguin, 1992 (The Normans in the South, 1016–1130; originally published:- Harlow:Longman,1967—The Kingdom in the Sun, 1130–1194; originally published:- Harlow:Longman, 1970) ISBN 978-0-14-015212-8
Byzantium; v. 2: The Apogee, Alfred A. Knopf, 1992, ISBN 978-0-394-53779-5
Byzantium; v. 3: The Decline and Fall, Viking, 1995, ISBN 978-0-670-82377-2
The Popes: A History, Chatto & Windus, 2011, ISBN 978-0-09-956587-1 (UK title for Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy)
A History of England in 100 Places: From Stonehenge to the Gherkin, John Murray, 2012, ISBN 978-1-84854-609-7
Darling Monster: The Letters of Lady Diana Cooper to Her Son John Julius Norwich (editor), Chatto & Windus, 2013, ISBN 978-0-7011-8779-8
Cities That Shaped the Ancient World (editor), Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2014, ISBN 978-0-500-25204-8
Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History, Random House, 2015, ISBN 978-0-8129-9517-6
Four Princes: Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe, John Murray, 2016, ISBN 978-1-47363-295-0
France: A History: from Gaul to de Gaulle, John Murray, 2018, ISBN 978-1-4736-6383-1
A History of France, Atlantic Monthly Press, 2018, ISBN 978-0-8021-2890-4
A Christmas Cracker being a commonplace selection, 2018, ISBN 978-0-9932126-2-8
^Telegraph Obituaries (1 June 2018). "John Julius Norwich, writer and television personality – obituary". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
^12:03AM BST 04 Jun 2008 (4 June 2008). ""John Julius Norwich:'Deep down, I'm shallow. I really am'", The Telegraph, 04 Jun 2008". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
"John Julius Norwich obituary: writer and broadcaster keen to share his many passions". The Guardian. 1 June 2018. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
^ abDiana Cooper (1959). The Light of Common Day. Houghton Mifflin. p. 89=90.
^"Yardley, Jonathan. "John Julius Norwich's memoir, "Trying to Please," reviewed by Jonathan Yardley", The Washington Post, 5 September 2010". Washingtonpost.com. 5 September 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
^Web of Stories-Life Stories of Remarkable People (19 June 2018). John Julius Norwich - Only trying to please. YouTube.com. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
^John Julius Norwich, ed. (2006). The Duff Cooper Diaries. Orion Books Ltd. p. x.
^Web of Stories-Life Stories of Remarkable People (19 June 2018). John Julius Norwich - Early school days. YouTube.com. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
^Diana Cooper (1960). Trumpets from the Steep. Vintage Books. p. 40.
^Web of Stories-Life Stories of Remarkable People (19 June 2018). John Julius Norwich - America - my safe haven. YouTube.com. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
^Web of Stories-Life Stories of Remarkable People (19 June 2018). John Julius Norwich - Lifting a lift on a cruiser. YouTube.com. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
^ ab"John Julius Norwich :: Introduction". www.johnjuliusnorwich.com. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
^"Whitehall, July 8, 1952". London Gazette. London. 8 July 1952. p. 3699.
^"Lords reform". The Guardian. 20 January 2000. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
^"John Julius Norwich :: Books Written". www.johnjuliusnorwich.com. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
^"John Julius Norwich :: Books Edited". www.johnjuliusnorwich.com. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
^"John Julius Norwich :: Television". John Julius Norwich. 2013. Archived from the original on 3 November 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
^"Venice in Peril — Trustees". Retrieved 20 December 2015.
^"Welcome to NADFAS". Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
^"Board of Trustees, Vice Presidents and Patrons | Share Community". www.sharecommunity.org.uk. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
^"Mission, vision, and values | Share Community". www.sharecommunity.org.uk. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
^"Another cracker from John Julius Norwich". 28 November 2013.
^Blume, Mary (3 December 1986). "Some Literary Feats for Your Yule Stockings" – via Los Angeles Times.
^ ab"John Julius Norwich: Aristocrat historian and broadcaster whose passions were inspired by remarkable parents". The Independent. 2 June 2018. Archived from the original on 13 June 2022. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
^"A Daughter's Life with Daddy Issues". The New York Times. 2 April 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
^Parker, Olivia (25 March 2014). "My perfect weekend: John Julius Norwich, historian and writer". Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
^"John Julius Norwich". The Times. 1 June 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
^"John Julius Norwich obituary". The Guardian. 1 June 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
^"Supplement to the London Gazette, 31st December 1992" (PDF). The London Gazette. p. 4. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
^This is a quotation from the Roman poet Catullus: Hamacher, Werner (2020). On the brink : language, time, history, and politics. London: Bowman and Littlefield. pp. 79–80. ISBN 9781786603913.
Leaders & Legends: John Julius Norwich (In: Old Times; Winter/Spring, 2008)
Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Viscount Norwich