Christopher Hill


Biography of Christopher Hill

John Edward Christopher Hill (6 February 1912 – 23 February 2003), usually known simply as Christopher Hill, was an English Marxist historian and author of textbooks.

Hill was born on 6 February 1912, Bishopthorpe Road, York, to Edward Harold Hill and Janet Augusta (née Dickinson). His father was a solicitor and the family were devout Methodists. He attended St Peter's School, York. At the age of 16, he sat his entrance examination at Balliol College, University of Oxford. The two history tutors who marked his papers, recognised his ability and offered him a place to forestall any chance he might go to the University of Cambridge. In 1931, Hill had a prolonged holiday in Freiburg, Germany, where he witnessed the rise of the Nazi Party; he later said it contributed significantly to the radicalisation of his politics.

He matriculated into Balliol College in 1931. In 1932, he won the Lothian Prize. He graduated with a first-class Bachelor of Arts degree in modern history in 1934. Whilst at Balliol, Hill became a committed Marxist and joined the Communist Party of Great Britain in the year he graduated.

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