Graham Robb

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Graham Macdonald Robb FRSL (born 2 June 1958) is a British writer and historian.

Robb was born in Manchester and educated at the Royal Grammar School Worcester and Exeter College, Oxford, where he studied Modern Languages. He graduated with first class honours in 1981. After qualifying as a teacher at Goldsmiths, University of London, in 1982, he earned a PhD in French literature at Vanderbilt University and was a Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford from 1987 to 1990.

He won the 1997 Whitbread Book Award for best biography (Victor Hugo) and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Rimbaud in 2001. Unlocking Mallarmé won the Modern Language Association Prize for Independent Scholars in 1996. His three biographies (Balzac, Victor Hugo and Rimbaud) were all New York Times "Best Books of the Year". The Discovery of France won the Duff Cooper Prize in 2007 and the Ondaatje Prize of the Royal Society of Literature in 2008. His The Discovery of Middle Earth: Mapping the Lost World of the Celts (2013) proposed that the ancient Celts organized their territories, determined the locations of settlements and battles, and set the trajectories of tribal migrations by establishing a network of solstice lines based on an extension of the Greek system of klimata. The evidence included artistic geometries, road surveying, centuriations and other archaeologically attested pre-Roman alignments.

He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature since 1998. In 2009, he became a Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. After the publication of the French translation of Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris, he was awarded the Grande Médaille de la Ville de Paris in 2012.


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