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Robert Tombs

Author of The English and Their History

Includes the names: R.P. Tombs

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Research Interests

Robert Tombs's main area of research has been nineteenth-century French political history in a broad sense, and especially popular political culture. He has been particularly concerned with the Paris Commune of 1871 and with French nationalism from the 1830s to 1914. His most recent work has been on the history of the relationship between the French and the British, from the end of the seventeenth century to the present day, including the cultural and economic as well as the political and military spheres.

He is presently finishing a book on the English and their past, but continues to work and publish on French history and on French attitudes to Britain.
Research Supervision

Franco-British relations since the eighteenth century. Most aspects of modern and contemporary French history, including politics and political ideas; cultural identities (national, gender, religious etc); cultural representations; war.

Modern European history in general (from 1789 to the present); with particular (though not necessarily research-based) interest in nationalism and revolution. He teaches a Part II specified subject, 'France and the British problem', which covers French attitudes and policies towards Britain over the past three centuries (online course material).

Key Publications
The War Against Paris 1871 (Cambridge: CUP, 1981), pp. 256.
Thiers 1797-1877: A Political Life, with J.P.T. Bury (London: Allen & Unwin, 1986), pp. 307.
Nationhood and Nationalism in France before the Great War (London: Harper Collins, 1991), pp. 286.
France 1814-1914 (London: Longman, 1996), pp. 590
La guerre contre Paris, 1871 (Paris: Aubier, 1997), pp. 380
The Paris Commune, 1871 (London: Longman, 1999) pp. 244
Cross-Channel Currents: 100 Years of the Entente Cordiale (London, Routledge, 2004), co-editor
That Sweet Enemy: The French and the British from the Sun King to the Present, with Isabelle Tombs (London: W. Heinemann, 2006) pp. 780
La France et le Royaume-Uni: Des ennemis intimes, with Isabelle Tombs (Paris, Armand Colin, 2012)
Britain and France in Two World Wars: Truth, Myth and Memory, ed. with Emile Chabal (London, Bloomsbury, 2013)

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