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Asa Briggs Biography

(1921– ), History of Birmingham: 1865–1938, Victorian People, The Age of Improvement: 1783–1867, Victorian Cities

English historian, born in Keighley, Yorkshire, educated at Keighley Grammar School, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and the University of London. Amongst other academic posts he was Provost of Worcester College, Oxford during 197691, and Chancellor of the Open University 19781994. A pioneer in the historical study of Victorian cities, Briggs stresses the important role of literature in illuminating the Victorian world. Among his major works are History of Birmingham: 1865–1938 (1952), Victorian People (1954), The Age of Improvement: 1783–1867 (1959), Victorian Cities (1963), William Cobbett (1967), Marx in London (1982), A Social History of England (1983), Victorian Things (1988), and Channel Islands: Occupational and Liberation (1995). He also wrote a five-volume History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom (196195) and edited, with John Saville, Essays in Labour History (3 volumes; 196077). His Collected Essays (198591) were published in three volumes. He was created a life peer in 1976.

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