Arthur Koestler was a prolific writer of essays, novels and autobiographies. He was born into a Hungarian Jewish family in Budapest but, apart from his early school years, was educated in Austria. His early career was in journalism.
In 1931 he joined the Communist Party of Germany but, disillusioned, he resigned from it in 1938 and in 1940 published a devastating anti-Communist novel, Darkness at Noon, which propelled him to instant international fame.
Over the next forty-three years he espoused many causes, wrote novels and biographies, and numerous essays. In 1968 he was awarded the prestigious and valuable Sonning Prize for outstanding contribution to European culture, and in 1972 he was made a “Commander of the British Empire” (CBE).