Peter Stansky

Peter Stansky

Faculty Webpage

(650) 723-2663

Department of History
Building 200, Room 312
Stanford, CA 94305-2024

Frances and Charles Field Professor of History, Emeritus

Department of History


Peter Stansky is the Frances and Charles Field Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University.  Born in New York and educated at Yale, King's College, Cambridge and Harvard he became a member of the Stanford History Department in 1968.  His scholarly aim is better to understand Britain mostly in the areas where culture, literature, art, and politics meet, perhaps best suggested by the title of his collection of essays: From William Morris to Sergeant Pepper: Studies in the Radical Domestic.   He has pursued these questions in studies of William Morris, Bloomsbury, George Orwell, culture during the Blitz, the Blitz itself, two young men, John Cornford and Julian Bell, who were killed in the Spanish Civil War, and members of the Sassoon family.  In a similar way, these interests are reflected in his present project, a study of Edward Upward, the least well-known member of the group that gathered around W.H. Auden.  Poet, Novelist, Communist, he is a figure who I believe is interesting in himself but who also can tell us much, I hope, about Britain in the 20th century which he experienced from his birth in 1903 to his death in 2009.

  • Modern British History

Ambitions and Strategies: The Struggle for the Leadership of the Liberal Party in the 189Os (1964)

England Since 1867: Continuity and Change (1973)

Gladstone: A Progress in Politics (1979)

William Morris (1983)

Redesigning the World, William Morris, the 1880s, and the Arts and Crafts.(1985)

On or About December 1910: Early Bloomsbury and its Intimate World (1996)

Another Book That Never Was (1998)

From William Morris to Sergeant Pepper (1999) includes bibliography of writings 1954-1998

Sassoon: The Worlds of Philip and Sybil (2003)

The First Day of the Blitz (2007)

Journey to the Frontier: Julian Bell and John Cornford: Their lives and the 1930s, with William Abrahams (1966)

The Unknown Orwell, with William Abrahams (1972)

Orwell: The Transformation, with William Abrahams (1979)

London's Burning, with William Abrahams (1994)

Julian Bell: From Bloomsbury to the Spanish Civil War, with William Abrahams (2012)

The Left and War: The British Labour Party and the First World War, Editor (1969)

John Morley Nineteenth Century Essays, Editor (197O)

Winston Churchill: A Profile, Editor (1973)

The Victorian Revolution, Editor (1973)

On Nineteen Eighty-Four, Editor (1983)

The Aesthetic Movement and the Art and Crafts Movement, Editor, with Rodney Shewan. A reprint series of 73 volumes (1976, 1979)

Conference on British Studies Biographical series, Editor, 6 vols.(1968-1974)

Modern British History Series, Editor, 18 vol. with Leslie Hume (1982)

Modern European History Series, Editor, 47 vols. (1987-1992)



  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Guggenheim Fellowships, 1966-67, 1973-74
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellow, 1978-79
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Fellowships, 1983, 1998-99
  • Fellow, Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences, 1988-89
  • Fellow, Royal Historical Society