Christopher Hibbert

Christopher Hibbert MC (born Arthur Raymond Hibbert; 5 March 1924 – 21 December 2008) was an English author, historian and biographer. He has been called "a pearl of biographers" (New Statesman) and "probably the most widely-read popular historian of our time and undoubtedly one of the most prolific" (The Times).[1] Hibbert was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the author of many books, including The Story of England, Disraeli, Edward VII, George IV, The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici, and Cavaliers and Roundheads.

Christopher Hibbert
Born5 March 1924
Enderby, England
Died21 December 2008 (aged 84)
Other namesArthur Raymond Hibbert
Academic background
Alma materOriel College, Oxford
Academic work
Main interestsBritish history
Notable worksVarious major biographies


Arthur Raymond Hibbert was born in Enderby, Leicestershire in 1924, the son of Canon H. V. Hibbert (died 1980) and his wife Maude. He was the second of three children, and christened Arthur Raymond.[2] He was educated at Radley College in Oxfordshire before he went up to Oriel College at the University of Oxford.[1][3] He was awarded the degrees of BA and later MA.[citation needed]

He left Oriel College to join the Army, where a sergeant major referred to Hibbert as "Christopher Robin" (of Winnie the Pooh books) based upon his youthful looks. The name "Christopher" subsequently stuck. During World War II, Hibbert served as an infantry officer in the London Irish Rifles regiment in Italy, reaching the rank of captain. He was wounded twice and awarded the Military Cross in 1945.[3][4]

From 1945 to 1959, he was a partner in a firm of land agents and auctioneers,[1] and began his writing career in 1957.[4] Hibbert was awarded the Heinemann Award for Literature in 1962 for The Destruction of Lord Raglan.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Hibbert lived at Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, and was a member of the Army and Navy Club and the Garrick Club. He was married to Susan Piggford and the couple had three children: his literary executor Kate Hibbert, television writer Jimmy Hibbert and music journalist Tom Hibbert.[3]

He died on 21 December 2008, in Henley, from bronchial pneumonia at the age of 84.[1][3][4] He was cremated, after a humanist ceremony in Oxford, on 2 January 2009.[5]


  • The Road to Tyburn (New World, 1957)
  • King Mob (Longmans, 1958)
  • Wolfe at Quebec (Longmans, 1959)
  • Corunna (B. T. Batsford,1961) ISBN 113571309X
  • The Destruction of Lord Raglan (Longmans, 1961)
  • Benito Mussolini (Longmans, 1962)
  • The Battle of Arnhem (B. T. Batsford Ltd, 1962)
  • The Roots of Evil: A Social History of Crime and Punishment (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1963)
  • Agincourt (Batsford, 1964)
  • The Court at Windsor (Longmans, 1964)
  • Garibaldi and his enemies (Longmans, 1965)
  • The Making of Charles Dickens (Harper & Row, 1967)
  • Waterloo (New English Library, 1967) ISBN 978-1853266874
  • Highwaymen (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1967)
  • London, the Biography of a City (Longmans, Green & Co., 1969)
  • Charles I (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1968)
  • The Grand Tour (Viking, 1969)
  • The Search for King Arthur (American Heritage, 1969)
  • The Dragon Wakes (Harper & Row, 1970)
  • The Personal History of Samuel Johnson (Longmans, 1971)
  • Tower of London (Newsweek [Series: Wonders of Man], 1971) ISBN 978-0882250021
  • Edward: The Uncrowned King (The History Book Club, 1972)
  • George IV (Vol 1: Longman, 1972; Vol 2: Allen Lane)
  • The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall (Morrow, 1975)
  • Versailles (Series: Wonders of Man, 1975)
  • Edward VII: A Portrait (Allen Lane, 1976)
  • Social History of Victoria Britain (Book Club Associates, 1974)
  • Disraeli and his World (Thames and Hudson, 1978) ISBN 0-500-13065-5
  • The Great Mutiny: India, 1857 (Allen Lane, 1978), as Penguin Pocketbook: 1980, ISBN 978-0-14-004752-3.
  • The Court of St James's: The Monarch at Work from Victoria to Elizabeth II (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1979) ISBN 0-297-77631-2
  • The French Revolution (Penguin, 1980) ISBN 978-0-14-004945-9.
  • Africa Explored (Allen Lane, 1982)
  • Chateaux of the Loire (Series: Wonders of Man, 1983)
  • The London Encyclopaedia with Ben Weinreb (Macmillan, 1983)
  • Rome, the Biography of a City (Norton, 1985) ISBN 0393019845
  • Cities and Civilizations (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1986) ISBN 0-297-78934-1
  • The English: A Social History (Grafton, 1987) ISBN 0246121815
  • Venice: The Biography of a City 1988 listing
  • The Encyclopaedia of Oxford (Macmillan, 1988)
  • Redcoats and Rebels (Grafton, 1990) ISBN 978-0393322934
  • The Virgin Queen: Elizabeth I, Genius of the Golden Age (Addison–Wesley, 1991)
  • Florence: Biography of a City (Norton, 1993) ISBN 0140166440
  • Cavaliers & Roundheads: The English Civil War, 1642–1649 (HarperCollins, 1993)
  • The Story of England (Phaidon Press, 1994)
  • Nelson: A Personal History (Penguin, 1994) ISBN 978-0-14-016738-2
  • No Ordinary Place: Radley College and the Public School System 1847–1997. London: John Murray General Publishing Division. 1997. ISBN 0-7195-5176-5.
  • Wellington: A Personal History (Da Capo, 1997)
  • George III: A Personal History (Penguin, 1998) ISBN 978-0-14-025737-3
  • Queen Victoria: A Personal History (HarperCollins, 2000)
  • The Marlboroughs: John and Sarah Churchill 1650-1744 (Viking, 2001)
  • Napoleon: His Wives and Women (HarperCollins, 2002)
  • Great Battles: Agincourt (Phoenix new edition 2003) ISBN 1842127187
  • Disraeli: A Personal History (HarperCollins, 2004)
  • Disraeli: The Victorian Dandy Who Became Prime Minister (Palgrave Macmillan, New York City 2006) ISBN 978-1-4039-7270-5.
  • The Borgias and Their Enemies: 1431–1519 (Mariner Books, 2009)


  1. ^ a b c d "Christopher Hibbert: popular historian". The Times. 29 December 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  2. ^ Sheppard, Francis (27 January 2009). "Obituary: Christopher Hibbert". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e Sheppard, Francis (27 January 2009). "Obituary: Christopher Hibbert". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Grimes, William (6 January 2009). "Christopher Hibbert, 84, Lively Historian, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
  5. ^ "Hibbert, Arthur Raymond [Christopher] (1924–2008), historian". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. May 2012. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/100916. ISBN 978-0-19-861411-1. Retrieved 23 September 2012. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) Subscription needed.

Further readingEdit

  • Crookes, John; Green, Alison; Smith, Sarah, (editors) (2001). Debrett's People of Today (14th Annual ed.). London. p. 906. ISBN 1-870520-64-5. {{cite book}}: |first3= has generic name (help)

External linksEdit