Professor Norman Davies taught for 25 years at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies in London. Since then he has been made an honorary citizen of four Polish cities, an honorary doctor of six universities, most recently UCL, and an honorary fellow of two Oxbridge colleges. He has held a dozen visiting professorships worldwide, from Harvard to Hokkaido and Canberra; and for 2017-18 is a Visiting Scholar at Pembroke College, Cambridge. Since the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was probably Europe’s largest ‘vanished kingdom’ after the Roman Empire, his writings on the subject naturally led to questions about how and why political states in general cease to exist. His answers can be found in Vanished Kingdoms: A history of half-forgotten Europe (2013). Other relevant publications include God’s Playground: A history of Poland (Oxford, 1981 2 vols) and Europe: A history, ( Oxford,1996).