Dr Roland Quinault

Modern British history; the history of British political leadership

Roland Quinault was educated at Oxford, where he was a scholar at Magdalen College, a postgraduate at Nuffield College and a Junior Research Fellow at Merton College. He has been Honorary Secretary of the Royal Historical Society and Reader in History at London Metropolitan University. In 2010-11 he was the Fulbright-Robertson Visiting Professor in British History, at Westminster College, Missouri, USA. He is a member of the committee of the Friends of the IHR.

Roland’s main field of research is British political and social history from the Victorian period to the later 20th century. Much of his research has focused on the character and contributions of leading politicians including Gladstone and Churchill. He is also interested in the history of London, the environment and aspects of Anglo-American relations. His many publications include British Prime Ministers and Democracy, from Disraeli to Blair (2011).


Principal publications

  • Co-editor (with John Stevenson) and contributor, Popular Protest and Public Order 1790-1920  (Allen & Unwin, 1974), pp. 242.
  • 'The Fourth Party and the Conservative Opposition to Bradlaugh', The English Historical Review, xci, ccclix (1976).
  • 'Lord Randolph Churchill and Tory Democracy', The Historical Journal, 22, 1 (1979). ('Altogether rather impressive', The Editor)
  • 'Lord Randolph Churchill and Home Rule', Irish Historical Studies, xxi, 84 (1979). ('A valuable new contribution', Professor R.W. Moody)
  • 'The Churchill Dynasty', History Today, 33, (1983). 'John Bright and Joseph Chamberlain', The Historical Journal, 28, 3 (1985). ('An important contribution to the literature'. The Editor)
  • 'Irish Terrorism in Britain', (part author) in Y. Alexander & A. O'Day (ed.), Ireland's Terrorist Dilemma (M. Nijhoff, 1986).
  • 'Winston Churchill' in Norman Stone (ed.), Makers of English History  (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1986).
  • 'Joseph Chamberlain: A re-assessment', in T. Gourvish and A. O' Day (eds.),
  • Later Victorian Britain  (Macmillan, 1988), pp. 69-92. ('An essential corrective to all previous accounts', Professor John Ramsden, Queen Mary, London.)
  • 'Churchill and Australia: The Military Relationship 1899-1945', War & Society, 6, 1 (1988), pp. 41-64. ('An excellent piece of analysis', Professor Robert O'Neill, Chichele Professor of War, Oxford University.)
  • '1848 and Parliamentary Reform', The Historical Journal, 31, (1988), pp. 831-51. ('I have received enthusiastic support for its publication', The Editor.)
  • 'Churchill and Russia', War & Society, 9, 1 (1991), pp. 99-120. ('A real tour de force' Professor Paul Addison, Edinburgh University.)
  • 'Asquith's Liberalism', History, 77, 249 (1992), pp. 33-49. ('I entirely agree with the rehabilitation of Asquith', Professor H. C. Matthew, Oxford University.)
  • 'Churchill's United Europe', History Today, 42 (June, 1992).
  • 'Westminster and the Victorian Constitution', Transactions of The Royal Historical Society, 1992, pp. 79-104. ('Why didn't anyone think of bringing together constitutional and architectural history together in this way before?' Professor Brian Harrison, University of Oxford. ‘Illuminating’, Albion.)
  • Co-editor (with Prof. P.K. O'Brien) and contributor, The Industrial Revolution and British Society (Cambridge University Press, 1993), 295 pp. Author of the chapter on ‘The Industrial Revolution and parliamentary reform’.
  • 'Asquith and Britain's Liberal War 1914-1918', Modern History Review, 4, 4, (1993).
  • 'The French Revolution of 1830 and Parliamentary Reform' History 79, 257 (1994), pp. 377-393. ('Interesting, well written and persuasive', Prof. H.T. Dickinson)
  • Co-editor (with Dr N. Harte), Land and Society in Britain 1700-1914 (Manchester University Press, 1996), 255 pp. Author of the chapter on 'Golf and Edwardian Politics'.
  • Co-editor (with Prof. R. McKitterick) and contributor, Edward Gibbon and Empire (Cambridge University Press, 1996). ('Fascinating', Contemporary Review). Author of the chapter on ‘Winston Churchill and Gibbon’
  • 'The Cult of the Centenary c.1784 - 1914', Historical Research, 71 (1998), pp.304-324. ('Greatly enjoyed', Sir Keith Thomas PBA).
  • 'The French Invasion of Pembrokeshire in 1797: A Bicentennial Assessment',
  • The Welsh History Review, 19 (1999), pp. 618-642.
  • Co-editor (with Fred M. Leventhal), and contributor, Anglo-American Attitudes from Revolution to Partnership (Ashgate, 2000), 313 pp.  (‘Quinault’s account of Anglo-American attitudes to democracy from Lincoln to Churchill is a gem’, Twentieth Century British History, 2002).
  • 'Gladstone and parliamentary reform', in D. Bebbington (ed.), Gladstone Centenary Studies (Liverpool University Press, 2000), pp. 75-93.
  • 'Britain 1950' in History Today, 51, 4 (2001), pp. 14-21.
  • 'Churchill and Democracy', Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th series, 11 (2001), pp. 201-220.
  •  ‘From National to World Metropolis: Governing London 1750-1850’, The London Journal 26, 1 (2001), pp. 38-46.
  • ‘Afghanistan and Gladstone’s moral foreign policy’, History Today, 52, 12 (2002), pp. 28-34.
  • ‘Disraeli and Buckinghamshire’, in Helen Langley (ed.), Benjamin Disraeli (Bodleian Library, Oxford, 2003), pp. 35-43.
  • ‘Lord Randolph Churchill' [8,000 words] and 'John, seventh Duke of Marlborough' in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography  ((Oxford, 2004).
  • ‘Landlords and Labourers in Warwickshire c. 1870-1920’, Dugdale Society Occasional Papers, 44 (2004), pp. 1-24.
  • Co-editor (with David Cannadine) and contributor, Winston Churchill in the Twenty-First Century, (C.U.P. 2004). (‘A uniformly high quality’, History, 2006).
  • ‘Churchill and Black Africa’, History Today, 55, 6 (2005), pp. 31-36.
  • ‘Cobden and Democracy’ in Anthony Howe and Simon Morgan (ed.), Re-thinking Nineteenth-Century Liberalism  (Ashgate, 2006), pp. 59-67. (‘The best of this bunch is Quinault’s careful reappraisal of Cobden’s attitude to the franchise’, Prof. Peter Cain, Economic History Review, 2007. ‘An important essay’, Journal of British Studies, 2008).
  • ‘Gladstone and Disraeli: a re-appraisal of their relationship’, History 91 (2006), pp. 557-576.
  • ‘Victorian Prime Ministers and Ireland’, in: R. Swift & C. Kinealy (eds.), Politics and Power in Victorian Ireland (Dublin, 2006), pp. 54-68.
  • ‘The influence of the Past on Anglo-French Relations c. 1850-2000’, in G. Millat (ed.), Angleterre ou Albion, entre Fascination et Repulsion (Lille, 2006), pp. 29-38.
  • ‘Winston Churchill and the Aristocracy’, in D. Lancien  et  M. de Saint Martin (eds,),  Anciennes  et nouvelles  aristocraties de 1880 a nos jours (Paris, 2007), pp. 279-288.
  • ‘The Scots at Westminster 17007-2007’, History Today, 57, 7 (2007), pp. 30-36.
  • ‘Victorian Juries’, History Today, 59, 5 (2009), pp. 47-53.
  • ‘Gladstone and Slavery’, The Historical Journal, 52, 2 (2009), pp. 1-21.(‘An excellent analysis of the range of Gladstone's engagement with the issues of slavery over his lifetime’. Professor Catherine Hall, University College, London).
  • ‘London and the Land Question, c. 1880-1914’, in M. Cragoe and P. Readman (eds.),
  • The Land Question in Britain, 1750 - 1950 (Palgrave, 2010), pp. 167-80. (‘The essays are uniformly painstakingly researched, well argued and well written’, Jamie Bronstein, Reviews in History).
  • ‘Chekhov and conservation’, History Today, 60, 2 ( 2010).
  • British Prime Ministers and Democracy, from Disraeli to Blair (Continuum, 2011, 300 pp). (‘The erudition on display and Quinault’s playful ability to allow his subjects to condemn themselves with their own words, are reminiscent of the work of Ben Pimlott, especially his excellent character sketches’, TLS, 30 September 2011.‘Indispensable for British politicians and the Prime Minister himself’, Bill Cash MP in Total Politics).
  • Co-editor & contributor, William Gladstone: new studies and perspectives (Ashgate, 2012).
Dr Roland Quinault | Institute of Historical Research


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