Lucy Riall

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Lucy Riall was Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London. She is a professor in the Department of History and Civilisation at the European University Institute in Florence.[1]

Riall studied at the London School of Economics and the University of Cambridge. She was a lecturer in Modern European history at the University of Essex before moving to Birkbeck. Since 2004 she has been editor of the journal European History Quarterly.[2]

Among her many prestigious awards are a Visiting Professorship at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris and a Senior Fellowship at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Advanced Study.

One of the leading experts on modern Italy, Riall has written on nineteenth-century state-formation and nationalism in Italy and Sicily. Several of her books treat the history of the Risorgimento; Garibaldi: Invention of a Hero (2007) examined the popular cult of Giuseppe Garibaldi as a global cultural phenomenon.[3]

Riall speaks fluent Italian and she appears frequently on Italian TV and radio (RAI) as well as on the BBC.


  • The Italian Risorgimento : state, society, and national unification, Routledge, 1994
  • Sicily and the unification of Italy : liberal policy and local power, 1859-1866, Oxford University Press, 1998
  • (ed. with David Laven) Napoleon’s Legacy: problems of government in Restoration Europe, Berg, 2000
  • Garibaldi : invention of a hero, Yale University Press, 2007 (Italian translation, Laterza, 2007).
  • Risorgimento: the history of Italy from Napoleon to nation state, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009 (Italian translation, Donzelli 2009).
  • "Martyr Cults in Nineteenth-Century Italy," The Journal of Modern History Vol. 82, No. 2, June 2010


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