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Professor Arthur Geoffrey (A.G.) Dickens was born in Hull and was an ardent Yorkshireman all his life. He was educated at Hymers College, then went to Magdalen College, Oxford University, where he studied modern history. He graduated with a First in 1932, and the following year became a tutorial fellow in history at Keble College. In World War II, he served in the Royal Artillery, and at the end of the war was stationed in Lubeck, a Hanseatic town that reminded him of Hull. The diary he kept there formed the basis for his first book, Lubeck Diary (1947). In 1949, he left Oxford to take up the position of G.F. Grant Chair of History at the University of Hull. He became the authoritative historian of the English Reformation and was noted for his early advocacy of social history. With his book The English Reformation (1964), he set a benchmark of excellence for historical surveys and set the agenda for teaching and research in the field for the next 25 years. In 1967, he was named director of the Institute of Historical Research and editor of its bulletin, and professor of History at the University of London. Prof. Dickens also was a Germanophile and a moving force in the establishment of the German Historical Institute in London, for which he was decorated by the German government.
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