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Professor Sir David Cannadine PBA

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About this Fellow

Post Dodge Professor of History, Princeton University; Editor, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; Visiting Professor, University of Oxford Specialisms History Past appointments University Lecturer University of Cambridge (1977-1988) Professor of History Columbia University, New York (1988-1998) Director and Professor of History Institute of Historical Research University of London (1998-2003) Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Chair of British History, Institute of Historical Research (2003-2008) Dodge Professor of History Princeton (2011- ). Website:



Current post

  • President, British Academy; Dodge Professor of History, Princeton University; Editor, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography;

Past Appointments

  • University Lecturer, University of Cambridge, 1977 - 1988
  • Professor of History, Columbia University, New York, 1988 - 1998
  • Director and Professor of History, Institute of Historical Research University of London, 1998 - 2003
  • Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Chair of British History, University of London, Institute of Historical Research, 2003 - 2008
  • Director, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, Institute of Historical Research University of London, 1998 - 2003
  • Dodge Professor of History, Princeton, 2011
  • Visiting Professor, University of Oxford, 2014 - 2018
  • President, The British Academy, 2017

British Academy Appointments

  • Chair of Council, 2017 -
  • President of The British Academy, 2017 -

Top picks

Audio link-icon

Winston Churchill the Artist with David Cannadine

David Cannadine has recently written a book about Winston Churchill as an artist and the way he used art to deal with his 'black dog', but Dan Snow gets him to talk about much more, including Gladstone, the use of history in policy-making and, of course, Brexit.
Publication link-icon

Interview with David Cannadine

David Cannadine on the appeal of the 19th century, on writing contemporary lives, and on becoming the British Academy’s ‘Brexit President’.


Churchill: The Statesman as Artist

David Cannadine, 2018 Bloomsbury

In his introduction to Churchill: The Statesman as Artist, David Cannadine provides the most important account yet of Churchill's life in art, which was not just a private hobby, but also, from 1945 onwards, an essential element of his public fame.


The Country House: Past, Present, Future: Great Houses of the British Isles

David Cannadine and Jeremy Musson, 2018 Rizzoli, New York

An insightful essay by renowned British author and historian David Cannadine explores how the idea of the country house has changed over the past forty years. Additional essays reflect on how changing twentieth century values have impacted the country house, with contributions by writers and scholars.


Victorious Century: The United Kingdom 1800-1906

David Cannadine, 2017 Penguin

In this major new work, leading historian David Cannadine has created a bold, fascinating new interpretation of nineteenth-century Britain. Victorious Century is a comprehensive and extraordinarily stimulating history–its author catches the relish, humor and staginess of the age, but also the dilemmas faced by Britain’s citizens, ones we remain familiar with today.

Margaret Thatcher, A Life and Legacy

David Cannadine, 2017 Oxford University Press

Concise, authoritative, and accessible coverage of one of the most notable figures of 20th century British politics. Features a glossary, chronology, dramatis personae, and guide to further reading to enable readers to explore the life of Margaret Thatcher beyond the bounds of this book.


The Undivided Past: Humanity Beyond Our Differences

David Cannadine, 2017 Vintage

Investigating the six most salient categories of human identity, difference, and confrontation—religion, nation, class, gender, race, and civilization—David Cannadine questions just how determinative each of them has really been.


George V: The Unexpected King

David Cannadine, 2014 Allen Lane

In an era of ever greater media coverage—frequently filmed and initiating the British Empire Christmas broadcast—George became for 25 years a universally recognised figure. David Cannadine's sparkling account of his reign could not be more enjoyable, a masterclass in how to write about Monarchy, that central—if peculiar—pillar of British life.


Mellon: An American Life

David Cannadine, 2006 Knopf

Chronicles the life of nineteenth and twentieth-century American financier Andrew W. Mellon, examining such aspects as his childhood in Pittsburgh; the building of his fortune; his personal life; his term as Secretary of the Treasury; his tax evasion trial, which ended in a not guilty verdict; and his creation of the National Gallery of Art.


The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy, Class in Britain

David Cannadine, 2005 Penguin

"A brilliant, multifaceted chronicle of economic and social change." --The New York Times. At the outset of the 1870s, the British aristocracy could rightly consider themselves the most fortunate people on earth: they held the lion's share of land, wealth, and power in the world's greatest empire. By the end of the 1930s they had lost not only a generation of sons in the First World War, but also much of their prosperity, prestige, and political significance.


Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire

David Cannadine, 2002 Oxford University Press

In this incisive work, David Cannadine looks at the British Empire from a new perspective--through the eyes of those who created and ruled it--and offers fresh insight into the driving forces behind the Empire.


G. M. Trevelyan. A Life In History

David Cannadine, 1992 Harper Collins

In this compelling volume David Cannadine preserves the memory of this powerful figure in a thoroughly researched biography that draws from a wealth of Trevelyan's own writings and the recollections of those who knew him.


Other Modern History from 1850 Fellows

Professor Gary Gerstle

Political thought, institutions, and conflict in 19th and 20th century US; immigration, race, and nationhood in America from founding to present

Professor Kenneth Pomeranz

Late imperial and modern Chinese history, emphasizing social, economic and environmental change; comparative political economy in early modern and modern times; empires and their contemporary legacies; world history