|Born||11 January 1949|
New York City, United States
Born in New York City in 1949, Adam Stefan Zamoyski was brought up in England, first attending St Philip's Preparatory School in South Kensington, London (1957-1962), then completing his secondary education at the Benedictine Downside School (1962-1966) and graduating from The Queen's College, Oxford, where he read History and Modern Languages (1967-1970). He went on to gain an M.A. Honours degree in 1974.
Zamoyski first visited Poland in the 1960s. He has dual Polish-British nationality and speaks English, Polish, French, Italian and Russian. His parents, Count Stefan Zamoyski (1904-1976) and Princess Elizabeth Czartoryska (1905-1989), married in 1929 in Go?uchów, Poland, but left their homeland in 1939 soon after its invasion by Germany and Russia. When the Soviets gained control of the country at the end of World War II, they found themselves stranded in the West, eventually settling in London.
Zamoyski lives in London with his wife, the painter Emma Sergeant, whom he married in 2001.
Zamoyski is a freelance historian and author of over a dozen books, including two major best-sellers, his history of Poland, The Polish Way, and his account of Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812. Zamoyski's books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
Zamoyski's 2010 book, Chopin. Prince of the Romantics, was serialised as the 'Book of the Week' on BBC Radio 4 in 2012. In The Guardian, Guy Dammann reviewed the biography of Chopin, whom George Sand nicknamed "Chip-Chip". According to Dammann, "Chopin has always been a largely mythical creature. Child prodigy, divinely inspired improviser, poetic genius [...] During his lifetime, his person was thought to partake of something otherworldly; during ours, his grave remains a place of pilgrimage and veneration." Dammann writes that Zamoyski's attempt to demystify Chopin is not wholly successful: while dispassionately chronicling Chopin's human frailty and the Polish influences on his music, the book is still described as a "romantic biography [...] the journey towards death as the apotheosis of genius."