Christopher Hill


Born
in York, The United Kingdom
February 06, 1912

Died
February 23, 2003

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John Edward Christopher Hill was the pre-eminent historian of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English history, and one of the most distinguished historians of recent times. Fellow historian E.P. Thompson once referred to him as the dean and paragon of English historians.

He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford. During World War II, he served in the Russian department of the British Foreign Office, returning to teach at Oxford after the war.

From 1958-1965 he was University Lecturer in 16th- and 17th-century history, and from 1965-1978 he was Master of Balliol College. He was a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the British Academy. He received numerous honorary degrees over the course of his career, in
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More books by Christopher Hill…
“History has to be rewritten in every generation, because although the past does not change, the present does; each generation asks new questions of the past and finds new areas of sympathy as it re-lives different aspects of the experiences of its predecessors.”
Christopher Hill

“The radicals assumed that acting was more important than speaking. Talking and writing books, Winstanley insisted, is 'all nothing and must die; for action is the life of all, and if thou dost not act, thou dost nothing.' It is a thought worth pondering by those who read books about the seventeenth-century radicals, no less than by those who write them. Were you doers or talkers only? Bunyan asked his generation. What canst thou say?”
Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution

“Each generation ... rescues a new area from what its predecessors arrogantly and snobbishly dismissed as 'the lunatic fringe.”
Christopher Hill