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Hugh Cunningham (historian)

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Hugh St Clair Cunningham (born 1942) is a historian and retired academic. A specialist in the history of childhood, nationalism, philanthropy and leisure, he is an emeritus professor of social history at the University of Kent.


Born in 1942,[1] Cunningham completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Cambridge, graduating in 1963.[2] He was then a lecturer at the University of Sierra Leone from 1963 to 1966.[1] He returned to studying, completing a doctorate at the University of Sussex; his DPhil was awarded in 1969[2] for his thesis "British Public Opinion and the Eastern Question 1877–1878".[3]

In 1969, Cunningham became a lecturer at the University of Kent, where he was promoted to a senior lecturership in 1984 and then to be professor of social history in 1991.[1] He was still on the faculty at the end of the 2001–2002 year,[4] but had retired by March 2004.[5] He was appointed an emeritus professor on retirement.[5] In a staff profile, he listed his specialisms as: the "history of childhood; leisure; popular nationalism; British history 1832–1918".[6] More recently, he has studied charity and philanthropy.[7]



  • Cunningham, Hugh (1975). The Volunteer Force: A Social and Political History 1859–1908. London: Croom Helm. ISBN 9780856642579.
  • Cunningham, Hugh (1980). Leisure in the Industrial Revolution, c. 1780–c. 1880. London: Croom Helm. ISBN 9780312478940.
  • Cunningham, Hugh (1991). The Children of the Poor: Representations of Childhood since the Seventeenth Century. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 9780631171621.
  • Cunningham, Hugh (1995). Children and Childhood in Western Society since 1500. London: Longman. ISBN 9780582238534.
  • Cunningham, Hugh; Viazzo, Pier Paolo, eds. (1996). Child Labour in Historical Perspective, 1800–1985: Studies from Europe, Japan and Colombia (PDF). Florence: UNICEF International Child Development Centre. ISBN 9788885401273.
  • Cunningham, Hugh, ed. (1996). Barn og Barndom fra Middelalder til Moderne Tid. Oslo: Ad Notam Gyldendal. ISBN 9788241707117.
  • Cunningham, Hugh; Innes, Joanna, eds. (1998). Charity, Philanthropy and Reform: From the 1690s to 1850. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press. ISBN 9781349266838.
  • Cunningham, Hugh (2001). The Challenge of Democracy: Britain, 1832–1918. Harlow: Pearson Education. ISBN 9780582313040.
  • Cunningham, Hugh (2005). Children and Childhood in Western Society since 1500 (2nd ed.). Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781315835495. ISBN 9781315835495.
  • Cunningham, Hugh (2006). Die Geschichte des Kindes in der Neuzeit. Düsseldorf: Artemis and Winkler. ISBN 9783538072299.
  • Cunningham, Hugh (2006). The Invention of Childhood. London: BBC Books. ISBN 9780563493907.
  • Cunningham, Hugh (2007). Grace Darling: Victorian Heroine. London: Hambledon Continuum. ISBN 9781852855482.
  • Cunningham, Hugh (2014). Time, Work and Leisure: Life Changes in England since 1700. Studies in Popular Culture. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 9780719085208.
  • Cunningham, Hugh (2020). Children and Childhood in Western Society since 1500 (3rd ed.). Abingdon: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781003033165. ISBN 9781003033165.
  • Cunningham, Hugh (2020). The Reputation of Philanthropy Since 1750: Britain and Beyond. Manchester: Manchester University Press. doi:10.7765/9781526146397. ISBN 9781526146373. S2CID 216333341.

Peer-reviewed articles and chapters


  1. ^ a b c The Writers' Directory 2005, vol. 1 (2005), p. 373.
  2. ^ a b The Academic Who's Who (A. and C. Black, 1973), p. 110.
  3. ^ "British Public Opinion and the Eastern Question 1877–1878", EThOS (British Library). Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  4. ^ "Our Academic Staff", University of Kent. Archived at the Internet Archive on 15 August 2002.
  5. ^ a b "Staff at the School of History", University of Kent. Archived at the Internet Archive on 7 March 2004.
  6. ^ "Professor Hugh Cunningham", University of Kent. Archived at the Internet Archive 29 April 2001.
  7. ^ "Hugh Cunningham", University of Kent. Retrieved 7 June 2021.