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Proceedings of the British Academy Volume 130, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, IV$
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P. J. Marshall

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263501

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263501.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Rodney Howard Hilton 1916–2002

Rodney Howard Hilton 1916–2002

(p.50) (p.51) (p.52) (p.53) Rodney Howard Hilton 1916–2002
Proceedings of the British Academy Volume 130, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, IV

Christopher Dyer

British Academy

Rodney Howard Hilton (1916–2002), a Fellow of the British Academy, was born in Middleton, England, to John James Hilton and Anne Howard Hilton. As a history undergraduate between 1935 and 1938, Hilton was attracted to the medieval period by the teaching of two outstanding Balliol scholars, Vivian Galbraith and Richard Southern. At the University of Oxford, he was influenced by ‘foreign ideas’ and joined the Communist Party. By 1956, Hilton had established an international reputation as an authority on the medieval economy in general, and in particular had put forward new ideas about social class, conflict, the crisis on feudalism, and the origins of capitalism. He was inspired by the writings of Karl Marx, Nikolai Lenin, and their more recent disciples, and applied their ideas. A constant theme running through all Hilton’s work was his commitment to the study of localities. He had a major role in making the subject of medieval economic and social history a lively field of enquiry and debate, which is a legacy that continues into the new century.

Keywords:   Rodney Howard Hilton, England, University of Oxford, Communist Party, medieval economy, social class, capitalism, feudalism, localities, social history

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