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Richard Cobb

Richard Cobb is a former professor of modern history at Oxford.

Beyond Paris

Richard Cobb, 27 June 1991

Eugen Weber is the leading American historian of the French Right in the period 1890 to 1914. He is also the author of a brilliant study of the growth of a national identity among the rural population of France in the second half of the 19th century and up to the outbreak of the First World War. As befits the personal angle to the main title of the present collection, the author opens with a charming account of his own haphazard course from Bucharest and other places in Romania, via Paris in the late Thirties, to a period in an unnamed English public school in the early Forties, service in the infantry of the British Army in the later stages of the Second World War, and then to graduate work at Cambridge where he nearly became a Medievalist. As in so many cases of historical vocation, accident, chance and good luck resulted in his choice of the study of French nationalism in the twenty years or so before 1914 and in the inter-war years up to 1939.

Richard Cobb

Simon Skinner, 19 July 2012

Who now, other than historians of modern France, remembers Richard Cobb? Cobb’s Wikipedia entry – the canonical index of posterity’s interest – measures three lines; by...

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Not a Belonger

Colin Jones, 21 August 1997

Richard Cobb, who died last year at the age of 79, began his career as a historian of Revolutionary France. When I first met him, in 1968, he was widely thought to be able to write only in...

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Foxy-Faced

John Bayley, 29 September 1988

In A Dance to the Music of Time there is a journalist called Bagshaw, who was once a Marxist. Although he has long since lost belief, he retains an almost fanatical interest in the technical...

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Cobbery

Julian Barnes, 2 May 1985

On a damp October evening last year this man robbed me of £15,000. The sum was tax free, so you could round it up to £20,000. Wineglass in hand, black tie at the throat, he also robbed...

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Cushy Numbers

Neal Ascherson, 3 November 1983

‘The fascination exercised by the study of collaborationism on the historian (especially the Anglo-Saxon one) can be attributed partly to unfamiliarity with something outside the national...

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Who Controls Henry James?

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, 4 December 1980

These Promenades come from a man who, although he is the most hexagonal* historian in the United Kingdom, is still not recognised at his true worth south of the Channel. Right from the start of...

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