Mathew was born in North West London. He studied English Language and Literature at Leeds University, where he also went on to take an MA in Renaissance Literature.
His most recent book, The Favourite, the first book-length exploration of the love affair between Walter Ralegh and Elizabeth I, was published by Constable in March 2011. He is currently working on a book about the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Mathew’s previous book, Impossible Journeys, was compared by The Guardian to a ‘non-fiction Calvino’. It has been a Folio Society bestseller since publication in 2010.
Mathew is a frequent contributor and former columnist for History Today magazine and he has written for a wide range of other publications, including the Financial Times, Spectator, New Statesman, Management Today, the Guardian and the Times. He has been profiled in The Yorkshire Post and The Herald in Scotland.
Mathew has been interviewed about his work on Robert Elms’ show on BBC Radio London and by Sandi Toksvig on LBC, as well by John Nicholson on the ITN News Channel. He has also appeared on Sky News and CBC.
He has also been interviewed on a wide range of regional radio stations, including BBC Radio Wiltshire, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cornwall, BBC Radio Gloucestershire, BBC Radio Oxford, BBC Radio Jersey, BBC Radio Bristol, and BBC Radio Manchester (GMR).
Mathew is a member of the Historical Writers Association and London Historians.