About the Author
Harold Albert Lamb
(September 1, 1892 - April 9, 1962) was an American historian, screenwriter, short story writer, and novelist.
Lamb was born in Alpine, New Jersey. He attended Columbia University, where his interest in the peoples and history of Asia began. Lamb's tutors at Columbia included Carl Van Doren and John Erskine. Lamb built a career with his writing from an early age. He got his start in the pulp magazines, quickly moving to the prestigious Adventure magazine, his primary fiction outlet for nineteen years. In 1927 he wrote a biography of Genghis Khan, and following on its success turned more and more to the writing of non-fiction, penning numerous biographies and popular history books until his death in 1962 in Rochester, N.Y. The success of Lamb's two volume history of the Crusades led to his discovery by Cecil B. DeMille, who employed Lamb as a technical advisor on a related movie, The Crusades. Lamb spoke French, Latin, Persian, and Arabic, and, by his own account, a smattering of Manchu-Tartar.
Lamb's prose was direct and fast-paced, in stark contrast to that of many of his contemporary adventure writers. His stories were well-researched and rooted in their time, often featuring real historical characters, but set in places unfamiliar and exotic to most of the western audience reading his fiction.