T. C. W. Blanning
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Timothy Blanning is a Professor of history and politics at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Blanning was born in 1942 and brought up in Somerset. From the time he was sent to prep school at Burnham-on-Sea at the age of eight, he always wanted to be a historian, not least because it was the only subject he was any good at. This feeling was only further confirmed by the excellent teaching he received at King’s School, Bruton, to which he moved at the age of thirteen. A school trip to Hamburg in 1956 expanded his interests to the politics and history of continental Europe.
A term spent in a school at Nuremberg, before going up to Cambridge University, led to the discovery of baroque art and architecture. Rarely putting in an appearance in the classroom, he spent most of his time hitch-hiking around Franconia and Swabia, visiting the palaces, churches and monasteries with which the region teems. Fortunately, the baroque was just coming back into fashion in the 1960s, so there was a growing amount of good literature to read too. His first Cambridge long vacation was spent in Rome, neglecting the classical sites in favour of the baroque.
When deciding on a topic for his doctoral research, it was natural to turn to the baroque in Germany, eventually concentrating on the Electorate of Mainz in the eighteenth century. It was a project that eventually found its way into print as Reform and Revolution in Mainz 1743-1803, published by Cambridge University Press in 1974. This was followed by a more general study of the period – The French Revolution in Germany – published by Oxford University Press in 1983. By that time his interests had moved east to the Habsburg Monarchy, producing a study of the Emperor Joseph II published by Longman in 1994. His interest in the French Revolution was maintained with two studies of its foreign policy – The Origins of the French Revolutionary Wars (Longman, 1986) and The French Revolutionary Wars (Arnold, 1996).
During the past ten years or so, his interests have moved towards the cultural history of Europe and have resulted in five books – The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture (Oxford University Press, 2002), The Pursuit of Glory: Europe 1648-1815 (Penguin, 2006), The Triumph of Music: composers, musicians and audiences 1700 to the present (Penguin, 2008) and The Romantic Revolution (Weidenfeld, 2011). In 2015 he published a major biography of Frederick the Great King of Prussia with Penguin/Random House which won the Brfitish Academy Medal in 2016. His most recent book is George I (Penguin/Random House, 2017).
He has spent most of his entire career in the cloistered environment of the University of Cambridge, first becoming a University Lecturer in 1972 and Professor in 1992. He has been a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge since 1965. He was also elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1990. He lives in Cambridge with his wife Nicky, two teen-aged children, a Patterdale terrier called Harry and a guinea pig called Coco.
- Joseph II and Enlightened Despotism (Longman, 1970)
- Reform and Revolution in Mainz, 1743–1803 (Cambridge University Press, 1974)
- The French Revolution in Germany: Occupation and Resistance in the Rhineland, 1792-1802 (Oxford University Press, 1983)
- The Origins of the French Revolutionary Wars (Longman, 1986)
- The French Revolution: Aristocrats versus Bourgeois? (Macmillan, 1987)
- Joseph II (Longman, 1994)
- The French Revolutionary Wars 1787-1802 (Edward Arnold, 1996)
- The French Revolution: Class War or Culture Clash? (Macmillan, 1997)
- The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture: Old Regime Europe, 1660-1789 (Oxford University Press, 2002)
- The Pursuit of Glory: Europe 1648–1815 (Penguin, 2007)
- The Triumph of Music: The Rise of Composers, Musicians and Their Art (2008)
- The Romantic Revolution: A History (2011)
- Frederick the Great: King of Prussia (Allen Lane, 2015)
- George I: The Lucky King (Allen Lane, 2017)
- The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe (Oxford University Press, 1996)
- The Rise and Fall of the French Revolution (Chicago University Press, 1996)
- with David Cannadine (eds.), History and Biography: Essays in Honour of Derek Beales (Cambridge, 1996)
- with Peter Wende (eds.), Reform in Great Britain and Germany, 1750-1850 (Oxford, 1999)
- The Short Oxford History of Europe, vol. 8: The Eighteenth Century and vol. 9: The Nineteenth Century (Oxford University Press, 2000)
- The Oxford History of Modern Europe (Oxford University Press, 2000)
- with Hagen Schulze (eds.), Unity and Diversity in European Culture c. 1800 (Oxford, 2006)
- "Professor Timothy Blanning". British Academy. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
- "British Academy announces 2016 prizes and medal winners". British Academy. 27 September 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2017.