Douglas Jackson

Douglas Jackson portrait image to appear alongside the Douglas Jackson biography.

Douglas Jackson is an exciting new voice in the historical fiction genre with his books combining impeccable research and historical detailing with the power and pace of the best thriller writing. His first book Caligula is the first in a three-book series set in ancient Rome, centring on the character of Rufus, a young slave. Douglas Jackson was born in Jedburgh in the Scottish borders and now lives in Bridge of Allan. Caligula grew out of his love for history, which was ignited as a boy when he grew up in the shadows of 12th century Jedburgh Alley. Every day walking to school he would wonder about the men who built it, who were the monks inhabiting it through war and famine through 500 years. Douglas’ first job was restoring a Roman military camp in the bleak hills closed by the Border. He is now assistant editor at The Scotsman. His second book Claudius is published in Bantam Press hardback in July 2009.

Douglas Jackson wrote Caligula, his first novel, on a packed commuter train between Stirling and Edinburgh every day on his way to work, and signed up by a literary agent when he asked for feedback on his writing on

Douglas Jackson books reviewed


  • Caligula (2009)
    Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, the third Roman Emperor, is better known by another name: Caligula, a name synonymous with decadence, cruelty and madness. Rufus, a young slave, grows up far from the corruption of the imperial court. His master is a trainer of animals for the gladiatorial arena, and Rufus discovers that he has a natural talent for controlling and schooling the animals. It is at the arenas that Rufus meets his great friend Cupido, one of Rome’s greatest gladiators. His growing reputation as an animal trainer his friendship with Cupido attract the cruel gaze of the Emperor; who wants a keeper for the imperial elephant. Rufus is bought from his master and taken to the imperial palace, where life is dictated by Caligula’s ever-shifting moods. He is as generous as he is cold-blooded, a megalomaniac who declares himself a god and simultaneously remains in constant fear of the plots against his life. But his paranoia is not misplaced. Intrigue permeates the court, and Rufus and Cupido find themselves unwittingly at the centre of a conspiracy to assassinate Caligula. But can a slave decide the fate of an emperor?

Critical acclaim

"Douglas Jackson takes us by the hand and heart and leads us into the crazy, power-soaked world of Caligula, maddest of the mad Roman emperors… It’s light and dark in equal measure, colourful, thoughtful and bracing. A worthy addition to the world of Roman historical fiction.’ Manda Scott, bestselling author of the Boudica series

“Jackson brings a visceral realism to Rome in the days of the mad Caligula.” Daily Mail