Robert Gildea

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. He was educated 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.

Robert Nigel Gildea
Born12 September 1952
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)

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 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.

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


  • Gildea, Robert (2002). Marianne in chains : in search of the German occupation, 1940-1945. London: Macmillan.
  • Gildea, Robert (2008). Children of the Revolution: The French, 1799-1914. London: Penguin.
  • (November 2013). "Napoleon : saint, sinner or both?". Reviews. History Today. 63 (11): 58–59. Review essay.
  • Gildea, Robert (2015). Fighters in the shadows : a new history of the French resistance. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674286108. LCCN 2015018188.


  1. Marianne in Chains: In Search of the German Occupation 1940–1945. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-78230-9.
    Paperback title – Marianne in Chains: Daily Life in the Heart of France During the German Occupation. (London: Picador. ISBN 0-312-42359-4)
  2. "Profile Professor Robert Gildea". University of Oxford Faculty of History. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
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