Robert Saunders

Robert Saunders teaches history at Queen Mary University of London.


I was born in Frome, one of four children, and spent the whole of my childhood in the West Country. My father was a clergyman and my mother a nurse, though both are now retired. At 18, I went to Magdalen College, Oxford, to read Modern History, and stayed there for 8 years doing my BA, M.St. and D.Phil. Since then I've taught at various colleges in Oxford, including Magdalen, Univ, Lincoln and Jesus, and moved to a lectureship at Queen Mary University of London in September 2013.

My research interests lie primarily in three areas: political history, intellectual history and the influence of America on British political thought. I am particularly concerned with the interplay between the history of ideas and the practice of politics, exploring the values, prejudices and ways of thinking that frame political action. My early work has focused on the Victorian period, looking particularly at the making of the Second Reform Act and at responses to American democracy. Current research projects include the study of Thatcherism in the 1970s and '80s, the making of British democracy and an exploration of 1832 as a religious crisis.

Outside academia, I am a keen singer with an excessively loud bass voice. Other interests include football, current affairs and the company of dogs and cats.