Demosthenes, the orator, is said to have had to conquer an originally ineffective vocal delivery. After years of private law practice, he delivered the first of his three Philippics against Philip of Macedon in 351 B.C. He saw danger to Athens in the tyrannical expansion of the Macedonian state, but his passionate and compelling exhortations did not save the Greeks from defeat at Chaeronea in 338 B.C. Exiled in 324 B.C., he was recalled after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. Again, he tried to organize the Greek resistance but failed and was forced to flee when Athens was taken. He took poison to avoid capture. His speeches are characterized by deep sincerity, prodigious power of verbal suggestion, and intricate structure.
Roland Chambers studied film and literature in Poland and at New York University before returning to England in 1998. He has worked as a private investigator specialising in Russian politics and business, and is also a children's author. He currently divides his time between London and Connecticut, where his wife teaches literature at Yale. The Last Englishman is his first biography.Robin Waterfield's previous book for Faber was Xenophon's Retreat. In 2005 he published a new translation of Xenophon's Anabasis as Xenophon: The Expedition of Cyrus. He is also the author of Athens: A History and has translated works by Euripides, Plutarch, Herodotus, Aristotle, and Plato, as well as other works by Xenophon.