Faramerz Dabhoiwala is a writer, historian, and professor at Oxford University. His acclaimed book, The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution (Penguin) tells the extraordinary story of the birth of modern western attitudes to sex. His work has been translated into Italian, Spanish, Swedish, German, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese.
He was born in Bristol in 1969, and brought up in many places. He grew up mainly in Amsterdam and then moved back to England to be educated, at York and Oxford. His historical interests were likewise never fixed - at first he was fascinated by the political history of the early twentieth century, then by the religious and social history of medieval peasants. His current work is the outcome of a series of happy accidents.
Faramerz initially embarked on the research that led to The Origins of Sex out of sheer curiosity about the sexual mores of men and women in the past, and why they had changed so much and so suddenly in the eighteenth century. At first he thought it would be a brief project, but uncovering amazing material in archives, libraries, and art galleries around the world, he became determined to do justice to what turned out to be one of the great untold stories about the origins of our modern condition.
Ian Kershaw, the brilliant biographer of Hitler, gave him his first job, at the University of Sheffield, and since 1996 Faramerz has taught at Oxford, first at All Souls College and latterly at Exeter College. His next book will be a global history of English and its uses since the middle ages.