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She lectured in history at West London Institute of Higher Education 1975 to 1977, and was a Research Fellow at University College, Swansea from 1977 to 1982. After short spells at Iowa State University and the University of South Carolina, she was a research fellow at the University of Liverpool from 1984 to 1987, and Simon Fellow at the University of Manchester from 1988 to 1989. She was a lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London from 1991 to 1993, when she became the Andrew Geddes and John Rankin Professor of Modern History at the University of Liverpool. She is also the Director of the Institute of Irish Studies at the university.
She has written extensively on Irish history, receiving many awards for her work. Particularly notable publications include her biography of Wolfe Tone (1989), and more recently Catholics of Ulster: a history (2000) and a biography of Robert Emmet (2003). Her research interests are political and cultural history, religious identities, eighteenth-century Ireland and France and the history of Ulster.
In addition to her academic role Professor Elliott has also played an important role in the promotion of peace efforts in Northern Ireland. Notably serving on the Opsahl Commission in 1993 and co-writing its report, 'A Citizens' Inquiry'.
- Partners in revolution : the United Irishmen and France. New Haven : Yale University Press. 1982
- Wolfe Tone : prophet of Irish independence. New Haven : Yale University Press. 1989
- The Catholics of Ulster: a history. London : Allen Lane The Penguin Press. 2000.
- Editor The long road to peace in Northern Ireland : peace lectures from the Institute of Irish Studies at Liverpool University. Liverpool : Liverpool University Press. 2001
- Robert Emmet : the making of a legend. London : Profile. 2003
- Institute of Irish Studies
- Marianne Elliott on the Ford Lectures
- Biographical notes on Marianne Elliot on the University of Liverpool website