Nigel Purse attended Berkhamsted School from where he won an Exhibition to read Modern History at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. After graduating he worked for twenty-nine years as an investment banker. Upon his retirement, since every exit is an entrance somewhere else, he immediately embarked upon writing Tom Stoppard’s Plays: Patterns of Plenitude and Parsimony. He has a profound interest in the theatre (particularly Shakespeare and Stoppard) and history. He has supported several charitable projects of a cultural nature, including Project Hougoumont and Shakespeare Aloud! at Shakespeare’s Birthplace, and is a Trustee of the Permanent Endowment Fund of The Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s warship which is now on display at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Nigel first became interested in Tom Stoppard’s plays when, aged sixteen, his English master gave the class a copy of Jumpers. Seduced and enthralled by the wordplay, the theatricality and the intellectual ping-pong of the ideas, Stoppard’s plays became the libretto of his life.