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Blanning, T.C.W. 1942- (Timothy Charles William Blanning)

Blanning, T.C.W. 1942- (Timothy Charles William Blanning)

PERSONAL:

Born April 21, 1942; son of Thomas Walter and Gwendolyn Blanning; married Nicky Jones, 1988; children: one son, one daughter. Education: Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, M.A., Ph.D.. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, music, dog walking.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Faculty of History, Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge, West Rd., Cambridge CB3 9EF, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

University of Cambridge, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, England, research fellow, 1965-68, fellow, 1968—, assistant lecturer in history, 1972-76, lecturer in history, 1976-87, reader in modern European history, 1987-92, professor of modern European history, 1992—.

MEMBER:

Athenaeum, British Academy (fellow).

AWARDS, HONORS:

Honorary doctor of letters, University of Cambridge.

WRITINGS:

Joseph II and Enlightened Despotism, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1970.

The French Revolution in Germany: Occupation and Resistance in the Rhineland, 1792-1802, Clarendon Press (Oxford, Oxfordshire, England), 1983.

The Origins of the French Revolutionary Wars, Longman (New York, NY), 1986.

The French Revolution: Aristocrats versus Bourgeois?, Humanities Press International (Atlantic Highlands, NJ), 1987, 2nd edition published as The French Revolution: Class War or Culture Clash?, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Joseph II, Longman (New York, NY), 1994.

The French Revolutionary Wars, 1787-1802, Arnold (New York, NY), 1996.

The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture: Old Regime Europe, 1660-1789, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2002.

The Pursuit of Glory: Europe, 1648-1815, Viking (New York, NY), 2007.

EDITOR

(With David Cannadine) History and Biography: Essays in Honour Derek Beales, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1996.

The Rise and Fall of the French Revolution, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1996.

The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1996.

The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Peter Wende) Reform in Great Britain and Germany, 1750-1850, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1999.

The Short Oxford History of Europe: The Eighteenth Century: Europe, 1688-1815, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2000.

The Oxford History of Modern Europe, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2000.

The Short Oxford History of Europe: The Nineteenth Century: Europe, 1789-1914, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2000.

(With Hagen Schulze) Unity and Diversity in European Culture c. 1800, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

T.C.W. Blanning is a historian who has a wide-ranging interest in the history of Europe, including the history of continental Europe from 1660 to 1914, the French Revolution, and the high culture of Europe and its relationship to state power. Blanning has also studied the reaction to the French revolutionaries' campaigns to convert the rest of Europe to the principles of liberty, fraternity and equality. Blanning is the author and editor of numerous historical books focusing on these and other topics.

In 1970 Blanning published Joseph II and Enlightened Despotism, a relatively short history of the German Emperor who reigned from 1765 to 1790. More than twenty years later, the author wrote another, much longer history of the emperor simply titled Joseph II. "Blanning draws on all the work which has been published in the last twenty years, and also on his own researches in Austrian archives," wrote Isabel De Madariaga in History Today. "His quotations from the letter-books of the emperor's correspondence with his servants provide fascinating highlights on Joseph's complex and abrasive personality. As usual with Blanning this book is written with gusto, insight and incisive wit. It is not only scholarly but enjoyable."

Blanning has a strong interest in the French Revolution and the French Revolutionary Wars and has written several books on the subject, including The French Revolution in Germany: Occupation and Resistance in the Rhineland, 1792-1802, The Origins of the French Revolutionary Wars, and The French Revolution: Aristocrats versus Bourgeois? He is also author of The French Revolutionary Wars, 1787-1802, which reflects the author's "customary vigorous prose and sharp intellect," according to Jeremy Black in the English Historical Review. In this history, the author provides a look at the French wars during this period and examines how French international relations and wars not only led to the French Revolution but also helped determine its outcome. Historian contributor Howard G. Brown called The French Revolutionary Wars, 1787-1802 "a masterful overview" and added: "Unlike most books of vast erudition, this one is also a pleasure to read. Its breezy narrative is studded with scores of anecdotes, and its clear analysis abounds in aphorisms." Writing in History Today, John Derry noted: "Tim Blanning's book is pungent, rich in robust historical judgements, and invigorating in its revitalisation of our understanding of the war against the French Republic." Derry went on: "It is a measure of the quality of Blanning's book that it can be read with as much sheer enjoyment as profit."

In The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture: Old Regime Europe, 1660-1789, Blanning focuses on the period when the French monarchy went from being the most powerful in Europe to Louis XVI's forced evacuation from Versailles in 1789. In the process, the author delves into the cultural reasons why the French monarchy fell while many other European monarchies continued to thrive into the twentieth century. "It was in its inability to adapt to changed conditions and to recognise the phenomenon of public opinion, Mr. Blanning argues, that the French monarchy failed," wrote a contributor to the Economist. David Williams remarked in the Historian: "The purpose of this wide-ranging, elegantly packaged book is to reexamine the topology of the cultural landscape emerging in Europe between 1660 and 1789, to assess the significance of the challenges to ancient regime power structures that this posed, as well as to analyze the ways in which the established order sought to survive the seismic tremors that were shaking the old certainties." Overall, the book received high praise from reviewers. For example, Peter Burke wrote in History Today: "As a lucid and readable general survey, as a concise presentation of the results of new research (especially German research), and as a serious and successful attempt to integrate the history of music into general history, this book deserves a warm welcome."

In his 2007 book, The Pursuit of Glory: Europe, 1648-1815, the author focuses on the history of a rapidly changing Europe, beginning with the end of the Thirty Years' War in 1648 and ending with the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. In the process, he details how Europe went from having a medieval view of the world to a modern outlook that included significant advances in science, technology, economics, and politics. In his broad approach to the history of Europe, Blanning covers a variety of topics, including transportation, marriage, farming, and recreation. Noting that "the period between these two dates is the very hinge of European history," International Herald Tribune contributor John Steele Gordon went on to write: "It is no small accomplishment to cover so vast a subject adequately in a single volume. But Tim Blanning, a professor of modern history at Cambridge and a fellow of the British Academy, not only does so, he also triumphs at it. The Pursuit of Glory, at 708 pages, is not a short read, but it is so well written that for those who love history, it is a page turner." A contributor to the Economist called the book a "triumphant success" and also noted that the author "brings to his period knowledge, experience, sound judgment and a colourful narrative style."

Blanning is the editor of several history books, including The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe. In a review of this work for Booklist, Gilbert Taylor noted: "No sentence is superfluous in this topical overview of the two revolutionary centuries since 1789." Blanning is also the editor, with Peter Wende, of Reform in Great Britain and Germany, 1750-1850. "This is an important and valuable contribution to the comparative understanding of Britain and Germany from 1750 to 1850," wrote Jorn Leonhard in the English Historical Review. The book includes nine papers based on presentations given by English and German scholars during a conference held by the British Academy and the German Historical Institute. Leonhard noted that the papers "demonstrate why and how reform in this period developed as a fundamental response to political, constitutional and socioeconomic change."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, February, 1985, Jeffry M. Dieffendorf, review of The French Revolution in Germany: Occupation and Resistance in the Rhineland, 1792-1802, p. 158.

Booklist, April 1, 1996, Gilbert Taylor, review of The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe, p. 1341.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, December, 2002, D.C. Baxter, review of The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture: Old Regime Europe, 1660-1789, p. 697.

Contemporary Review, October, 1998, review of The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe, p. 220; June, 2001, review of The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe, p. 378.

Economist, February 16, 2002, "Representative Monarchy; European Political History," review of The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture; June 23, 2007, "Revolutionary Days; European History," p. 95.

English Historical Review, January, 1989, Michael Duffy, review of The Origins of the French Revolutionary Wars, p. 220; February, 1998, Jeremy Black, review of The French Revolutionary Wars, 1787-1802, p. 200; February, 2001, Jorn Leonhard, review of Reform in Great Britain and Germany, 1750-1850, p. 147.

European History Quarterly, October, 1995, Jeremy Black, review of Joseph II, p. 583; January, 1997, Jeremy Black, review of The French Revolutionary Wars, 1787-1802, p. 127.

French Review, March, 1999, Tom Conner, review of The French Revolution: Class War or Culture Clash?, p. 762.

Guardian (London, England), June 9, 2007, Keith Thomas, review of The Pursuit of Glory: Europe, 1648-1815.

Historian, fall, 1998, Howard G. Brown, review of The French Revolutionary Wars, 1787-1802; spring, 2004, David Williams, review of The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture.

Historical Journal, September, 1995, P.G.M. Dickson, review of Joseph II, p. 785; June, 1997, R.J.B. Bosworth, review of History and Biography: Essays in Honour of Derek Beales, p. 566; September, 1998, Brendan Simms, review of The French Revolutionary Wars, 1787-1802, p. 885.

History: The Journal of the Historical Association, June, 1987, Gwynne Lewis, review of The Origins of the French Revolutionary Wars, p. 351; January, 1998, William Doyle, review of The French Revolutionary Wars, 1787-1802, p. 181; January, 1998, Alan Forrest, review of The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe, p. 178.

History Today, January, 1988, Peter Burley, review of The Origins of the French Revolutionary Wars, p. 55; August, 1988, review of The Origins of the French Revolutionary Wars, p. 59; January, 1996, Isabel De Madariaga, review of Joseph II, p. 59; January, 1997, John Derry, review of The French Revolutionary Wars, 1787-1802, p. 60; June, 2002, Peter Burke, review of The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture, p. 60.

International Herald Tribune, July 5, 2007, John Steele Gordon, review of The Pursuit of Glory.

International History Review, June, 2002, Julian Wright, review of The Short Oxford History of Europe: The Nineteenth Century: Europe, 1789-1914, p. 417.

Journal of Economic Literature, March, 1995, review of Joseph II, p. 356.

Journal of Military History, April, 1997, Dale Lothrop Clifford, review of The French Revolutionary Wars, 1787-1802, p. 372.

Law Institute Journal, July, 1996, Richard Evans, review of The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe, p. 77.

Library Journal, May 15, 1996, Stephen L. Hupp, review of The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe, p. 72; April 15, 2007, Bryan Craig, review of The Pursuit of Glory, p. 101.

Publishers Weekly, March 26, 2007, review of The Pursuit of Glory, p. 74.

Reference & Research Book News, September, 1996, review of The Rise and Fall of the French Revolution, p. 9.

School Library Journal, August, 1996, Claudia Moore, review of Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe, p. 185; August, 1996, review of The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe, p. 185.

Southern Communication Journal, fall, 1994, John Wallace Nassau, review of The French Revolution: Aristocrats versus Bourgeois?

Spectator, June 9, 2007, Jonathan Sumption, "Coping with a Continent."

Times Educational Supplement, September 23, 1988, review of The French Revolution, p. 30.

Times Higher Education Supplement, December 27, 1996, Jad Adams, review of History and Biography, p. 22; September 14, 2001, Jeremy Black, review of The Short Oxford History of Europe: The Eighteenth Century: 1688-1815, p. 30; July 20, 2007, Jeremy Black, "Foxes Offer a Taste of History," p. 20.

Times Literary Supplement, December 2, 1994, Charles Ingrao, review of Joseph II, p. 28; May 24, 1996, review of The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe, p. 10; December 15, 2000, Eugen Weber, review of The Short Oxford History of Europe: The Eighteenth Century, p. 10; December 15, 2000, Eugen Weber, review of The Short Oxford History of Europe: The Nineteenth Century, p. 10; March 15, 2002, J.D. Reed, "The Oyster and the Grit: Modesty, Dialogue and Unease at the Birth of the Enlightenment," p. 3.

ONLINE

University of Cambridge, Faculty of History Web site,http://www.hist.cam.ac.uk/ (October 18, 2007), faculty profile of T.C.W. Blanning.

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