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Historians of 'Past and Present' (standing: Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm; Rodney Howard Hilton; Lawrence Stone; Sir Keith Vivian Thomas; seated: (John Edward) Christopher Hill; Sir John Huxtable Elliott; Joan Thirsk)

© National Portrait Gallery, London. Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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The founding of the historical journal Past and Present evolved from the friendship of a group of young Marxist historians in the late 1940s, its first edition appearing under the aegis of John Morris (d.1977) in 1952. The aim was broadly to give a platform to both Marxist and non-Marxist historians to air contemporary historical research and discussion. The seven historians depicted have all had editorial roles in organising the journal, but were not gathered in one place as a group to be painted.

National Portrait Gallery, London





oil on canvas


H 173.4 x W 206.6 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Commissioned, 1999

Work type



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National Portrait Gallery, London

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