Robert Nigel Gildea
Born12 September 1952
England, UK
OccupationAcademic, historian
AwardsWolfson History Prize
Academic background
Alma materMerton College, Oxford (B.A.)
St Antony's College, Oxford (D.Phil.)
Doctoral advisorTheodore Zeldin
Academic work
InstitutionsKing's College, London
Merton College, Oxford
Worcester College, Oxford
Main interestsFrench history, French education
Notable worksMarianne in Chains (2002)

Robert Nigel Gildea (born 12 September 1952) is professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford and is the author of several influential books on 20th century French history.


Robert Gildea was born on 12 September 1952. He was educated at Dulwich College and at Merton College, Oxford, before attending St Antony's for a D.Phil under the supervision of Theodore Zeldin. His D.Phil. research was in French provincial education. Before being appointed Fellow in Modern History at Merton in 1979, he was a lecturer at King's College, London.

For his 2002 book Marianne in Chains,[1] a study of life in provincial France during the German occupation, Gildea won the prestigious Wolfson History Prize. The book, however, outraged members of the French academic elite[citation needed] through its documented claims that life in France had not been as adversely affected by the Nazi occupation because many French people had co-operated with the German invaders – far more so than previously believed[verification needed].

He was elevated to the position of Professor of Modern History from being Professor of Modern French History in September 2006, and is currently a Fellow of Worcester College.[2] On 10 June 2021 in a BBC Radio 4 interview he declared he was joining other concerned academics in boycotting Oriel College for its refusal to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes from the façade of the building, erected using money donated by Rhodes.[3]

Gildea lives in Oxford with his wife, Lucy-Jean, and four children.


This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (November 2015)

See also


  1. ^ Marianne in Chains: In Search of the German Occupation 1940–1945. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-78230-9., Marianne in Chains: Daily Life in the Heart of France During the German Occupation (Paperback ed.). London: Picador. ISBN 0-312-42359-4.
  2. ^ "Profile Professor Robert Gildea". University of Oxford Faculty of History. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  3. ^ BBC Radio 4 'Today' programme, 10 June 2021.