Simon Jonathan Sebag Montefiore is a British historian, television presenter and award-winning author of popular history books and novels.Early lifeSimon Montefiore was born in London. His father was Stephen Eric Sebag Montefiore and his brother is Hugh Sebag-Montefiore. They are descended from a line of wealthy Sephardi Jews who were diplomats and bankers all over Europe and who originated from Morocco and Italy. After the Alhambra Decree was issued against the Jews in Spain of 1492, some of Montefiore's ancestors stayed in the country whilst remaining secretly Jewish. During the reign of Philip II of Spain, one of them became governor of a province of Mexico, where he and his family were denounced by a political rival and tortured by the Inquisition.