22 Facts About Richard Cobb


Richard Charles Cobb was a British historian and essayist, and professor at the University of Oxford.


Richard Cobb was the author of numerous influential works about the history of France, particularly the French Revolution.


Richard Cobb is best known for his multi-volume work The People's Armies, a massive study of the composition and mentality of the Revolution's civilian armed forces.


Richard Cobb was a prolific writer of essays from which he fashioned numerous book-length collections about France and its people.


Richard Cobb found much inspiration from his own life, and he composed a multitude of autobiographical writings and personal reflections.


Richard Cobb stayed for a year and developed a passion for the country, its people and their history.


Richard Cobb worked closely with the French Marxist-school historians Albert Soboul and George Rude, frequently sharing research at the National Archives.

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Unable to obtain French citizenship, Richard Cobb went back to England in 1955 for a succession of academic jobs.


Richard Cobb taught at Aberystwyth University and the University of Leeds, before ultimately returning to Oxford, where he was elected as a tutorial fellow of Balliol College in 1962.


Richard Cobb returned to France repeatedly, sometimes to give courses of lectures at the College de France.


Richard Cobb wrote with a general sense of agreement toward their Marxist historiography, but Cobb's personal approach always avoided the doctrinaire presumptions common to his French colleagues.


In later years, Richard Cobb published several volumes of memoirs and observational essays, including a fond account of his childhood in 1920s-era Tunbridge Wells, Still Life, which won the JR Ackerley Prize for Autobiography.


Richard Cobb made his closest venture to a strict linear narrative in A Classical Education.


Richard Cobb confessed his guilt to his old friend, but explained his actions with deeper detail than he felt he gave in court.


Richard Cobb completed the manuscript only two days before he died, and friends and family made the arrangements for its publication.


Richard Cobb was married three times, and fathered three sons and one daughter.


Richard Cobb was known as a wit, a prankster, and a generally irreverent character.


Richard Cobb frequently spent long nights in spirited carousing, particularly during his stays in Paris, and throughout his life he retained a reputation for being "iconoclastic" and even "eccentric".


Richard Cobb died at his home in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, on 15 January 1996 at the age of 78.


Richard Cobb had four children and, at the time of his death, was married to his third wife, Margaret.


Richard Cobb's works have been derided by some scholars as misanthropic, an application of Modern Age cynicism to eighteenth-century events.


Richard Cobb even made it somewhat difficult to understand why a revolution happened in the first place.