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Blake, Robert (Norman William) 1916-2003

BLAKE, Robert (Norman William) 1916-2003


See index for CA sketch: Born December 23, 1916, in Norfolk, England; died September 20, 2003, in Brundall, England. Historian, educator, and author. Blake, a teacher and administrator at Oxford, is best remembered for his acclaimed biographies of Benjamin Disraeli and Bonar Law. A graduate of Magdalen College, Oxford, where he earned an M.A. degree in 1938, Blake fought in the Royal Artillery in North Africa during World War II. He was captured in 1942 and made a P.O.W. in Italy, but escaped fifteen months later and became involved in British intelligence for the rest of the war. After the war, Blake joined the faculty at Christ Church College, Oxford, where he taught politics. During the early 1950s, he was a censor for Christ Church, becoming a senior proctor from 1959 to 1960 and Ford Lecturer in English history from 1967 to 1968. In 1968 he moved to Queen's College, where he served as provost from 1968 to 1987, and pro-vice-chancellor of the university from 1971 to 1987. Blake published numerous history books and is especially noted for his The Unknown Prime Minister: The Life and Times of Andrew Bonar Law, 1858-1923 (1955), and for his several works regarding Disraeli, including Disraeli (1966), Disraeli and Gladstone (1970), Disraeli's Grand Tour: Benjamin Disraeli and the Holy Land, 1830-31 (1982), and Gladstone, Disraeli and Queen Victoria (1993). Named a fellow of the British Academy in 1967 and appointed to the House of Lords in 1971, Blake more recently completed The Conservative Party from Peel to Major (1998) and Winston Churchill (1998).



New York Times, September 25, 2003, p. C13.

Times (London, England), September 23, 2003.

Washington Post, September 24, 2003, p. B5.

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