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Professor of History, University of Central Lancashire

Robert Poole is an historical writer with wide interests. His book 'Earthrise: How Man First Saw the Earth' (Yale UP, 2008) is a groundbreaking work about about the first space age, the 'whole Earth' and the rise of the environmental movement. It has featured in two exhibitions, 'The Whole Earth' at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin (2013) and 'You Say You Want a Revolution?' at the V&A (2016-17), and he has lectured and broadcast internationally. He has also written on the 1968 cult science fiction film '2001: A Space Odyssey'.

He also works on British history since the 17th century, particularly in north-west England. His book, 'Peterloo: the English Uprising' (OUP, 2019) is the definitive history of a key episode in the history of British democracy, the subject of a film by Mike Leigh. He is also co-author of the graphic novel, 'Peterloo: Witnesses to a Massacre' (New Internationalist, 2019). He was consultant historian to the Peterloo 2019 commemoration programme in Manchester,, and is supporting museums, galleries, libraries, community groups, creative artists, and educators.

In 2012 he was consultant historian to the programme to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the 1612 trial of the Lancashire witches. His book 'The Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancashire' (Carnegie, 2011) tells the story of England’s biggest peacetime witch trial. He has also written a history of the calendar and the mythical 'Give us our eleven days' riots of 1752, in 'Time's Alteration' (Taylor & Francis, 1998).

Robert regularly lectures and broadcasts on historical topics. In 2022 he is spending time as a visiting professor at the Sorbonne, Paris, as a research fellow at Durham University Library, and as Politics in Residence writer at Gladstone's Library, Hawarden.


  • –present
    Guild Research Fellow and Reader in History, University of Central Lancashire