The article presents an overview of Barry Unsworth’s work with an emphasis on his history writing. The author follows the development of Unsworth’s writing from the very beginnings to major historical novels that brought the author worldwide fame. History and thinking about the nature of man are seen as key topics of Unsworth’s oeuvre and it is argued that Unsworth’s view of mankind is largely pessimistic. His historical novels tend to show that there is no development whatsoever as far as the nature of man is concerned. The world depicted by Barry Unsworth is one ruled by greed, hunger for power and deceit. This is best exemplified in his arguably best novel The Sacred Hunger where the hunger for power is seen as the major driving force in the vicious circle of human history.