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Paul Readman is Professor of Modern British History at King’s. He is author of Storied Ground: Landscape and the Shaping of English National Identity (2018) and Land and Nation: Patriotism, National Identity and the Politics of Land (2008). His other publications include, as co-editor, The Land Question in Britain, 1759-1950 (2010), Borderlands in World History, 1700–1914 (2014), Walking Histories, 1800–1914 (2016) and Restaging the Past: Historical Pageants, Culture and Society in Modern Britain (2020).

Paul is Principal Investigator on the major AHRC-funded project, ‘The Redress of the Past: Historical Pageants in Britain, 1905-2016’. This project has published a multi-million-word database with details of over 650 pageants; it has also been responsible for exhibitions and public events in Carlisle, Bury St Edmunds, Scarborough, St Albans, London and elsewhere. More recently, Paul has been working as Co-Investigator on an AHRC-funded research network, ‘Changing Landscapes, Changing Lives’.


Research interests and PhD supervision

  • The cultural and political history of modern Britain
  • British national identities
  • The British landscape in history
  • Historical pageants in twentieth-century Britain
  • The politics of patriotism in modern Britain

Selected Publications



Much of Paul’s teaching reflects his research interests. He teaches modules in modern British history, nations and nationalism, and the politics of patriotism.

Expertise and public engagement

Paul’s work on historical pageants has involved public exhibitions, film screenings, talks and workshops with a wide range of external partners (e.g. Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle; St Albans Museums; the English Folk Dance & Song Society). For further details of this work, please see the Redress of the Past project website.

Paul has appeared on BBC Radio 4, including a recent appearance on Thinking Aloud. He has also appeared BBC local radio and, in the US, National Public Radio. He has reviewed books for a variety of publications, including the Irish Times and BBC History Magazine; and he has written about historical pageants in the magazine Who Do You Think You Are?