Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was a Florentine statesman who was later forced out of public life. He then devoted himself to studying and writing political philosophy, history, fiction, and drama. Tim Parks was born in 1954, studied at Cambridge and Harvard, and moved to Italy in 1980. His translations from the Italian include works by Alberto Moravia, Italo Calvino and Roberto Calasso. He currently lectures on literary translation in Milan. He has written a number of novels, and his account of provincial life in Italy, Italian Neighbours, was an international bestseller.