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John Hawkins

Graduating from St. Edmund Hall, Oxford in 1973 with a degree in physics, he spent all of his working life in finance gaining along the way an MBA from Bradford in 1978 and an MSc in Risk Management from City in 2000. His serious interest in history commenced in 2009, when he began to research the origins of a Victorian charity founded by a wealthy brewer, of which he had been a trustee for some years. This culminated in the award of a PhD from Kingston in 2012 for his thesis ‘Henry Gardner’s Trust for the Blind: formation, development and decline (1879-1945)’. This research also sparked his interest in Fred Burnaby, who in 1870, when still a captain, had travelled to St. Petersburg with Henry Gardner’s daughter and son-in-law. Other historical research interests include: military actions of the North-West Frontier and Boer War, in both of which his maternal grandfather served with the Gordon Highlanders; the maverick MP for Windsor between 1876 and 1890, Robert Richardson-Gardner; the leading British anthroposophist, Harry Collison; and the art and architectural history of Oxford between 1566 and 1750.

John W Hawkins reviews “Oxford: Mapping the City” by Daniel MacCannell

Oxford: Mapping the City Daniel MacCannell Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd., 2016 One of the tests that can be applied by a book reviewer is whether the work in question leaves the reader wanting more, and that is certainly the case with Oxford: mapping the city. This is a handsomely produced work, profusely illustrated, with the text written in an interesting and …

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John W Hawkins Reviews ‘Landscapes of London’ by Elizabeth McKellar

John W Hawkins Reviews ‘Landscapes of London’ by Elizabeth McKellar Elizabeth McKellar Landscapes of London: the city, the country and the suburbs, 1660-1840 Yale University Press, 2013 xvi + 260 pages; 24 colour + 120 b/w illus. £45.00 RRP According to the author, a respected architectural historian, ‘This book is about cities, where they begin and where they end.’ Except …

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John W Hawkins Reviews ‘Saving the City’ by Richard Roberts

Richard Roberts Saving the City: the great financial crisis of 1914 Oxford University Press, 2013 xviii + 302 pages + 8 B/W figures + 3 tables, £20.00 RRP Whether Richard Roberts would appreciate having his fast-moving book compared to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, or the latest series of Kiefer Sutherland’s 24 is a matter of debate, but it …

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Fred Burnaby: The Victorian Adventurer

The incomparable Colonel Frederick Gustavus Burnaby (1842-1885) In 1876 Fred Burnaby returned from an epic winter-ride on horseback and by sledge to the Khanate of Khiva, in the heart of central Asia. His book, A Ride to Khiva, was an instant hit and ran to eleven editions in the space of a year. On Horseback through Asia Minor, written after …

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