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Sir Noel Malcolm

Senior Research Fellow since 2002
I have two main fields of interest in my current research: early modern intellectual history, with a special focus on the philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679); and relations between Western Europe and the Ottoman/Islamic world in the early modern period. There is some overlap between the two, as the second field includes the development of Western thinking about such things as the nature of Ottoman rule and the doctrines of Islam. My recent publications include an essay on the treatment of those topics in the writings of Jean Bodin (1530-1596), and a study of the first English translation of the Koran (1649). But my interests on this side of my research extend beyond the realm of ideas. My latest book discusses East-West interactions on quite a broad scale in the second half of the sixteenth century, from Venice to Moldavia and Istanbul, encompassing such topics as diplomacy, espionage and galley warfare. My projects for the next few years include preparing another volume of the Clarendon Edition of the Works of Hobbes (the autobiographical writings), and writing a book on the Ottoman Empire in Western political thought.
Sir Noel Malcolm


  • Political Columnist, Daily Telegraph (from 1992 to 1995)
  • Foreign Editor, The Spectator (from 1991 to 1992)
  • Political Columnist, The Spectator (from 1987 to 1991)
  • Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (from 1981 to 1988)
  • Postgraduate, Trinity College and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (from 1978 to 1981)
  • Undergraduate, Peterhouse, Cambridge (from 1974 to 1978)

Research interests

  • Early modern intellectual history (British and European), especially a) Thomas Hobbes and b) Western knowledge of the Islamic/Ottoman world


  • Agents of Empire: Knights, Corsairs, Jesuits and Spies in the Sixteenth-Century Mediterranean World (London: Allen Lane, 2015).
  • (ed.) Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, 3 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2012).
  • Reason of State, Propaganda, and the Thirty Years’ War: An Unknown Translation by Thomas Hobbes (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2007).
  • (with Jacqueline Stedall) John Pell (1611-1685) and his Correspondence with Sir Charles Cavendish: The Mental World of an Early Modern Mathematician (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).
  • Aspects of Hobbes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).
  • Kosovo: A Short History (London: Macmillan, 1998).
  • The Correspondence of Thomas Hobbes, 2 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994).

Other professional memberships and roles

  • Honorary Fellow, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (from 2013)
  • Honorary Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge (from 2011)
  • Honorary Fellow, Peterhouse, Cambridge (from 2010)
  • Member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Kosova

Teaching and Supervision

  • DPhil supervision