Doyle, William 1942-

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Doyle, William 1942-


Born March 4, 1942, in Burton Agnes, Yorkshire, England; son of Stanley Joseph (a tailor) and Mary Alice Doyle; married Christine Thomas (a teacher), August 2, 1968. Ethnicity: "White." Education: Oriel College, Oxford, B.A., 1964, M.A. and D.Phil., both 1968.


Home—Bath, England. Office—Department of Historical Studies, University of Bristol, 13 Woodland Rd., Bristol BS8 1TB, England. E-mail—[email protected].


University of York, Heslington, Yorkshire, England, lecturer, 1967-78, senior lecturer in history, 1978-81; University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England, professor of history, 1981-85, head of department, 1982-85; University of Bristol, Bristol, England, professor of history, 1986—, head of department, 1986-90. Visiting professor at University of South Carolina at Columbia, 1969-70, Université de Bordeaux III, 1976, and École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France, 1988; Oxford University, visiting fellow of All Souls College, 1991-92; Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, member, 2004.


British Academy (fellow), Royal Historical Society (fellow; member of council, 1987-91), Academy of Bordeaux, Academy of Besançon.


Honorary D.H.C., Université de Bordeaux III, 1987.


The Parlement of Bordeaux and the End of the Old Regime, 1771-1790, Benn (Kent, England), 1974, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1974.

The Old European Order, 1660-1800, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1978, 2nd edition, 1992.

Origins of the French Revolution, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1980, 3rd edition, 1998.

The Ancien Regime, Humanities Press International (Atlantic Highlands, NJ), 1986.

The Oxford History of the French Revolution, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1989.

Officers, Nobles and Revolutionaries, Hambledon (London, England), 1995.

Venality, The Sale of Offices in Eighteenth Century France, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1996.

Jansenism: Catholic Resistance to Authority: From the Reformation to the French Revolution, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

(Editor, with Colin Haydon) Robespierre, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1999.

(Editor) Old Regime France, 1648-1788, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2001.

The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2001.

(Editor, with Malcolm Crook and Alan Forrest) Enlightenment and Revolution: Essays in Honour of Norman Hampson, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2004.

Aristocracy and Its Enemies in the Age of Revolution, Hambledon & London (London, England), 2008.

Aristocracy: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2008.

Doyle's works have been translated into Chinese, French, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, and Portuguese.


William Doyle once told CA: "Coming to the French Revolution from research on the Ancien Regime, I have always seen it as the unpredicted and unpredictable upheaval that overwhelmed contemporaries, rather than the inevitable product of a rotten and decaying social order whose defects could be taken for granted. For most historians of the Revolution, what went before is a mere overture; whereas I tend to see the Revolution as a tragic finale. Most historians of this event have either accepted it at its own valuation or condemned it out of hand. Neither attitude promotes the understanding that such a complex phenomenon demands. Both diminish the human diversity and capacity for both good and ill that the Revolution exemplifies."



Times Literary Supplement, May 19, 1989, Colin Lucas, review of Origins of the French Revolution, 2nd edition, p. 554; July 21, 1989, Colin Jones, review of The Oxford History of the French Revolution, p. 791.