peterwatsonPeter Watson was educated at the universities of Durham, London and Rome, and was awarded scholarships in Italy and the United States.

After a stint as Deputy Editor of New Society magazine, he was for four years part of the Sunday Times ‘Insight’ team of investigative journalists. He wrote the daily Diary column of the London Times before becoming that paper’s New York correspondent. He returned to London to write a column about the art world for the Observer and then at The Sunday Times.

He has published three exposes in the world of art and antiquities and from 1997 to 2007 was a Research Associate at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge. He has published twelve books of non-fiction and seven novels, some under the pen name of Mackenzie Ford. He lives in London where his interests include theatre, opera and fishing.

Awards, Etc.

Psychology Prize
Durham University, 1961

Italian Government Music Scholarship
Rome University, 1965

United States Government Bursary “for future world leaders”
To study the psychiatric profession and its links to the administration of justice

Books of the Year

  • Psychology Today Magazine, 1978, for War on the Mind
  • Daily Mail, 1990, for Wisdom and Strength
  • Independent on Sunday, for A Terrible Beauty, 2000
  • Times Literary Supplement, for Ideas, 2005
  • Time Magazine, for The Medici Conspiracy, 2006

Queen’s Pardon
Copy from Patrick Meehan after I had written a series of articles which brought about his release from prison after he had been wrongly convicted of murder, 1976.

Gold Dagger – Crime Writers’ Association of Great Britain
For The Caravaggio Conspiracy, 1983

Beacon Award – SAFE Award – Saving Antiquities for Everyone
For The Medici Conspiracy, 2006

US Library Association
The Great Divide.

Emmy Nomination
‘The Caravaggio Conspiracy, 1984.

Best sellers

  • The Caravaggio Conspiracy
  • Crusade
  • Landscape of Lies
  • Sotheby’s: The Inside Story
  • Nureyev


Peter Watson has lectured at the following venues:


  • Cambridge
  • Berkeley
  • London
  • UCLA
  • Birmingham
  • Georgia
  • Georgia
  • Chicago
  • Birmingham
  • Santiago de Chile
  • York
  • Madrid
  • Harvard
  • Tufts

Military Bases

  • Fort Bragg

Private Institutions in

  • Cleveland
  • Berlin
  • Chicago
  • Belfast
  • Los Angeles
  • New York
  • Washington
  • Boston
  • Palm Beach

Other venues

  • Smithsonian Institution
  • National Museum, Copenhagen
  • Royal Society of Arts
  • Rugby School
  • Royal Library, Copenhagen


  • Edinburgh
  • Oxford
  • Dartington
  • York