Robert Ensor


Robert Ensor

Sir Robert Charles Kirkwood Ensor (1877-1958) was a British writer, poet, journalist, liberal intellectual and historian. He is famous for his extremely popular volume of the Oxford History of England. Originally the final volume, Ensor's book has sold more copies than any other in the original fourteen part series, only A.J.P. Taylor's fifteenth volume has sold more.

Educated at Winchester School and Balliol College where he achieved a first in Greats and also the Chancellor's Latin verse prize. He was President of the Oxford Union in 1900. He failed at his attempts to become a fellow of Merton, St John's and All Souls (twice) but later became a tutor at Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

He was a journalist after leaving Oxford working for "The Manchester Guardian" and the "Daily News". Returning to Oxford following the closure of the "Daily News" in 1930, he worked for both the History and Politics Faculties. He was commissioned in 1937 to write a sequel to his volume of the Oxford History of England but he resumed his journalism during the second world war and the job fell to A.J.P. Taylor.


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