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Darby, Henry Clifford (1909–1992)

  • By: Barney Warf
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Henry Clifford Darby, arguably Britain's best-known historical geographer, sought to break down the barriers between history and geography as separate disciplines. He produced a prodigious body of scholarship, especially concerning medieval England.

Born in Wales, he began attending Cambridge University at age 16 and then received a teaching post there on graduation with the PhD, soon becoming a college Fellow. During World War II, he worked for the Naval Intelligence Division of the British Admiralty and then left Cambridge to assume the John Ranking Chair at the University of Liverpool from 1945 to 1949. He then relocated to University College London before returning to Cambridge to hold a chair of the geography department in 1966. He retired in 1976 and was knighted in 1988. Intellectually, he ...

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