David Cannadine

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Sir David Cannadine
Sir David Cannadine.jpg
Born (1950-09-07) 7 September 1950 (age 64)
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Residence London and Connecticut
Nationality British
Fields History
Alma mater Clare College, Cambridge
Notable awards Knight Bachelor, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

Sir David Nicholas Cannadine (born 7 September 1950 in Birmingham), FBA, FRSL, FRHistS is a British historian, known for a number of books, including The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy, and Ornamentalism. He is also notable as a commentator and broadcaster on British public life, especially the monarchy. He serves as the general editor of the Penguin History of Europe series. He was at the University of London from 1998 to 2003 working at the Institute of Historical Research,[1] and is currently a professor at Princeton University.[2][3] On 1 October 2014, he became the new Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Early life[edit]

Cannadine was born in Birmingham, England. He is the son of Sydney Douglas Cannadine and Dorothy Mary Hughes.[4] He attended King Edward VI Five Ways School. Cannadine was educated at Clare College, Cambridge where he read History, and wrote a doctorate on the history of the development of the Calthorpe estate,[5] Edgbaston, Birmingham, while at St John's College, Oxford, supervised by Peter Mathias. He also studied at Princeton University.[6]

Academic career[edit]

From 1975–1977, he was a junior research fellow at St John's College, Cambridge, before being appointed University Lecturer and Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge in 1977. While never a student of J. H. Plumb at Christ's, Cannadine was influenced by him.[6]

From 1992–1998, he was Moore Collegiate Professor of History at Columbia University in New York City.[7] In 1998 he became director of the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. In 2003 he was selected for the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Professorship of British History there. In 2005 he was awarded an honorary fellowship at Christ's College.

Insignia of
Knight Bachelor

Since 2005 Cannadine has been Chair of the National Portrait Gallery.[8] He gave the first annual Jubilee lecture at King Edward VI Five Ways school. In 2006 he was appointed chairman of English Heritage's Blue Plaques Panel. In June 2011 it was announced he would join the professoriate of New College of the Humanities, a private college in London, though he will teach for just one hour during the first academic year.[9]

On 1 October 2014, he became the new Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Personal life[edit]

Cannadine married fellow historian Linda Colley (now formally styled Lady Cannadine) in 1982.[3][7][10]


Cannadine was knighted in the 2009 New Year Honours for services to education.[11]


  • Lords and Landlords; the aristocracy and the towns, 1774–1967 (1980)
  • Patricians, Power and Politics in nineteenth-century Towns (1982) (editor)
  • The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy (1990)
  • The Pleasures of the Past (1989)
  • G.M. Trevelyan: A Life in History (1992)
  • Aspects of Aristocracy: Grandeur and Decline in Modern Britain (1994)
  • The Rise and Fall of Class in Britain (1998)
  • History in Our Time (1998)
  • Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire (2001)
  • In Churchill's Shadow: Confronting the Past in Modern Britain (2002)
  • What Is History Now? (2002) (editor)
  • Admiral Lord Nelson: Context and Legacy (2005) (editor)
  • Mellon: An American Life (2006)
  • Empire, The Sea and Global History: Britain's Maritime World 1763–1833 (2007) (editor)
  • The Undivided Past: History Beyond Our Differences (2013)
  • George V (Penguin Monarchs series) (2014)
  Gunpowder Plots: a celebration of 400 years of Bonfire Night


  1. ^ http://www.london.ac.uk/1008.html
  2. ^ http://www.princeton.edu/history/people/display_person.xml?netid=dcannadi
  3. ^ a b "Professor Sir David Nicholas Cannadine" (PDF). Princeton University. Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "CANNADINE, Prof. Sir David (Nicholas)". Who's Who 2014. A & C Black. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  5. ^ www.calthorpe.co.uk
  6. ^ a b Kelly Boyd, Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing (1999), p. 926.
  7. ^ a b http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/david-cannadine-home-and-colonial-stories-682003.html "David Cannadine: Home and Colonial Stories", The Independent, 8 June 2003, accessed 26 February 2010
  8. ^ http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page8840
  9. ^ "The professoriate", New College of the Humanities, accessed 8 June 2011.
  10. ^ "Linda Colley: 'I don't even know if I'm British any more'". The Independent. Archived from the original on 30 April 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  11. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58929. p. 1. 31 December 2008.

External links[edit]