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Friday, 15 June, 2001, 23:10 GMT 00:10 UK
A history of Simon Schama
Simon Schama
Schama has taught at Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard
Professor Simon Schama, who has been made a CBE, has taken British history to a wider audience with the success of his BBC Two series A History of Britain.

The accessibility of the 16-part factual series, which Schama wrote and presented, won him acclaim for being able to convey subjects considered dry by some in an engaging and original way.

It also won him the best television contributor and best television series prizes at this year's Voice of the Listener and Viewer Awards, despite criticism from some that he was "dumbing down".

Those awards were added to two Broadcasting Press Guild gongs and one WH Smith award, voted for by the public, for the book that accompanied the series.

Academic teaching

Schama's writing career preceded his broadcasting career, and other acclaimed books include 1989's Citizens, about the French revolution, and Patriots and Liberators (1977), which won the Wolfson Prize for History.

1987's The Embarrassment of Riches, like Patriots and Liberators, focuses on Dutch history - which he has taught at Harvard University.

Simon Schama
A History of Britain will conclude this autumn
Schama, born in London in 1945, was fellow at Christ's College, Cambridge University, from 1966-76 before becoming fellow and tutor in modern history at Brasenose College, Oxford.

He then spent 13 years as professor at Harvard and is now professor of history at Columbia University, New York, where he specialises in European cultural and environmental history and the history of art.

From 1995-98, he was art critic and cultural essayist for The New Yorker magazine.

And he presented a BBC Two series based on Landscape and Memory in 1995, with the first batch of A History of Britain documentaries shown in autumn 2000.

The second batch, screened this spring, took the story up to the end of the eighteenth century, and the series will conclude this autumn with a look back at the last 200 years.


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