David Cannadine

David Cannadine

Sir David Nicholas Cannadine, FBA (born 7 September 1950) is a British historian, known for a number of books, including The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy and Ornamentalism. He is also notable as a commentator and broadcaster on British public life, especially the monarchy. He serves as the generaleditor of the Penguin History of Europe series. He was at the University of London from 1998 to 2003 working at the Institute of Historical Research [1] but is currently a professor at Princeton University.[2][3]



Born in Birmingham, Cannadine attended King Edward VI Five Ways school there. He read history at Clare College, Cambridge, and wrote a doctorate on the history of the development of the Calthorpe Estate, Edgbaston, Birmingham, while at St John's College, Oxford, supervised by Peter Mathias. He also studied at Princeton University.[4]

From 1975-1977 he was a junior research fellow at St John's College, Cambridge before being appointed University Lecturer and Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge in 1977. While never a student of J. H. Plumb at Christ's, Cannadine was influenced by him.[4]

From 1992-1998, he was Moore Collegiate Professor of History at Columbia University in New York City.[5] In 1998 he became director of the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. In 2003 he was selected for the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Professor of British History there. In 2005 he was awarded an honorary fellowship at Christ's College.

Since 2005 he has been Chair of the National Portrait Gallery.[6] He gave the first annual Jubilee lecture at King Edward VI Five Ways school. In 2006 he was appointed Chair of English Heritage's Blue Plaques Panel. In June 2011 it was announced he would join the professoriate of New College of the Humanities, a private college in London, though he will teach for just one hour during the first academic year.[7]

Marriage and family

Cannadine married fellow historian Linda Colley in 1982.[3][5][8]

Legacy and honors

Cannadine was knighted in the 2009 New Year Honours for services to education.[9]


  • Lords and Landlords; the aristocracy and the towns, 1774-1967 (1980)
  • Patricians, Power and Politics in nineteenth-century Towns (1982) (editor)
  • The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy (1990)
  • The Pleasures of the Past (1991)
  • G.M. Trevelyan: A Life in History (1992)
  • Aspects of Aristocracy: Grandeur and Decline in Modern Britain (1994)
  • The Rise and Fall of Class in Britain (1998)
  • History in Our Time (1998)
  • Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire (2001)
  • In Churchill's Shadow: Confronting the Past in Modern Britain (2002)
  • What Is History Now? (2002) (editor)
  • Admiral Lord Nelson: Context and Legacy (2005) (editor)
  • Mellon: An American Life (2006)
  • Empire, The Sea and Global History: Britain's Maritime World 1763-1833 (2007) (editor)


  1. ^ http://www.london.ac.uk/1008.html
  2. ^ http://www.princeton.edu/history/people/display_person.xml?netid=dcannadi
  3. ^ a b "Professor Sir David Nicholas Cannadine". Princeton University. http://www.princeton.edu/history/people/data/d/dcannadi/CV.pdf. Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Kelly Boyd, Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing (1999), p. 926.
  5. ^ a b http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/david-cannadine-home-and-colonial-stories-682003.html "David Cannadine: Home and Colonial Stories", The Independent, 8 Jun 2003, accessed 26 Feb 2010
  6. ^ http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page8840
  7. ^ "The professoriate", New College of the Humanities, accessed June 8, 2011.
  8. ^ "Linda Colley: I don't even know if I'm British any more", The Independent, 21 Sept 2002, accessed 26 Feb 2010
  9. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58929. p. 1. 31 December 2008.

External links

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