My name is Ian Hughes.  I was born in Burnley, Lancashire, in the mid-twentieth century.  From an early age I have had a deep love of history, for which I blame my mother.  For my education, I attended Heasandford Junior School and Barden High School before going to Burnley Grammar School.

Dropping out at 17, I worked for a (short) time as a garage mechanic and librarian – not simultaneously! – before eventually entering the Fitted Kitchen Industry.  Friends and family finally convinced me that I was wasting my time working in a factory, so I attended Burnley College to gain my ‘A-Levels’ before quitting work to go to Cardiff University.  After gaining a BA in Ancient and Medieval History, I stayed on to complete an MA in Ancient History and Society (specialising in the ‘ethnicity’ of the auxiliary troops of the Late Roman Empire).  From there I went to Swansea University to gain my PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education).

I taught History at schools in Aylesbury and Huddersfield, during which time I rose to be ‘Head of Year’, and it was in Aylesbury that I met my ‘other half’, Joanna.  The imminent arrival of my son gave me an excuse to stop teaching and do something worthwhile!  Actually, I enjoyed teaching and it was a bit of a wrench to leave – but what can you do?  In 2006, just as my son was entering pre-school, I was given the opportunity by Pen and Sword to write my first book: ‘Belisarius: The Last Roman General’.

Even as a child I dreamed of combining my passion with my work.  When I was in the factory in Burnley manhandling large sheets of chipboard, I never thought it would be possible.  Now, as I sit at my desk looking at the computer screen, it is still hard to believe – especially as I have since written:  ‘Stilicho:  The Vandal Who Saved Rome’;   ‘Aetius:  Attila’s Nemesis’;  ‘Imperial Brothers:  Valentinian, Valens and the Battle of Adrianople‘;  and ‘Patricians and Emperors:  The Last Rulers of the Roman West‘.  In mid-late 2017 a book on ‘Gaiseric’ is due to be published, and I am currently working on a book on ‘Attila the Hun‘.

My hobbies include wargaming and playing the guitar (both badly), but my main passion apart from history remains Burnley Football Club.  As my son has been trained to say from an early age:  ‘Up The Clarets!’



The Burnley Squad that won the league in 1960


I still try to play football at least once a week (Wednesday evenings, DVC Sports Centre, Manvers:  so if you are ever down and need a laugh, just come and watch me pretending to be Martin Paterson).

Thank you for visiting the website.  I hope that you have had some of your questions answered.  If not, you can always ‘Contact me’:  I’ll try to answer any questions, just don’t expect a quick reply!