Jonathan Bardon

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Jonathan Bardon (born in Dublin, 1941), OBE, is an Irish historian and author.

Early life[edit]

Bardon was born in Dublin in 1941 and graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in 1963.[1] Shortly thereafter, in 1964, he moved to Belfast to begin his teaching career at Orangefield Boys Secondary School.[2] While in Belfast, he enrolled at Queens University, Belfast, where he received a Diploma in Education, also in 1964.[1] Living in Northern Ireland as a young man during the beginning of the Troubles, he credits two things that piqued his fascination with it, while remaining nonpolitical: his early teaching experiences educating young boys, both Catholic and Protestant, in Belfast; and a five feature commission he received from the now-defunct Sunday Times to write about and research the Battle of the Somme.[3]


Bardon is best known for his critically acclaimed text, A History of Ulster. The book examines, in detail, the cultural, social, economic, and political arenas of the province, beginning with the early settlements and progressing linearly to present-day Ulster.

He has also written numerous radio and television programmes on the subject of Northern Ireland. Most recently he was commissioned by BBC Radio to create a two hundred and forty-episode series entitled A Short History of Ireland. The final episode aired on 18 March 2007.[4]

In 2002, Bardon received an OBE for "services to community life".[5]


  • A History of Ulster. Blackstaff Press, 1992.
  • Belfast: A Century. Blackstaff Press, 1999.
  • Belfast: An Illustrated History. Blackstaff Press, 1982.
  • Belfast: 1000 Years. Blackstaff Press, 1985.
  • Beyond the Studio: A History of BBC Northern Ireland. Blackstaff Press, 2000.
  • Dublin: One Thousand Years of Wood Quay. Blackstaff Press, 1988. (co-authored with Stephen Conlin).
  • The Plantation Of Ulster. Gill and Macmillan, 2011.