Denis Judd was born in Northamptonshire in 1938 and educated in a village primary school before passing the 'Eleven Plus' and entering the local grammar school. He won a State Scholarship to Oxford, where he took his first degree in Modern History at Magdalen College, going on to study for a PhD at London University, on: 'A. J. Balfour and the evolution and problems of the British Empire 1874-1906.' He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
He has been Head of History, and is now Professor Emeritus of Imperial and Commonwealth History, at the London Metropolitan University. In his research, writing and broadcasting he has specialised in the British Empire and Commonwealth, especially South Africa and India. He has also written extensively on British history, on aspects of the monarchy, and among his biographies is the authorised life of the children’s author Alison Uttley.
Among his publications are Balfour and the British Empire, Radical Joe - A Life of Joseph Chamberlain, The Victorian Empire, Palmerston, Lord Reading, Edward VII, The Crimean War, Someone Has Blundered: Calamities of the British Army During the Victorian Age, The British Raj, King George V, Jawaharlal Nehru, Prince Philip, George VI, and, with Peter Slinn, The Evolution of the Modern Commonwealth, 1902-80. His major analysis of British Imperialism, Empire: The British Imperial Experience 1765 To The Present was published in March 1996 by HarperCollins, was a major bookclub choice, has now appeared in paperback and United States’ hardback and paperback editions, and has been translated. Among his latest books are The Boer War, The Lion and the Tiger: The Rise and Fall of the British Raj, and the edited Diaries of Alison Uttley.
He has written a number of other historical studies and biographies, as well as stories for children and two novels: Further Tales of little Grey Rabbit (1989 HarperCollins), Livingstone in Africa (Wayland), The Adventures of Long John Silver and Return To Treasure Island (both Michael Joseph).
He has written radio documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and the World Service, and has broadcast many times both as a presenter, consultant and major interviewee for television and radio programmes: most recently for BBC TV 'Newsnight', BBC Radio 3 'Nightwaves', 'The World at One', for BBC Radio 4’s 'Vestiges - the British Empire' and 'The Afternoon Shift', for the World Service, for BBC Radio Scotland, for Canadian Radio, for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and for a considerable number of television programmes shown on the BBC, ITV and Canadian and South African TV.
He is the editor of a series of concise histories - the Traveller's Histories - which include: France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Russia, India, Turkey, Ireland, Australia, North Africa and China. He is an Advisor to the recently established BBC History Magazine for which he writes and reviews.
He has reviewed extensively in academic journals- e.g. History, The Journal of Contemporary British History, South Asia and the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History - and the national press, including Times Literary Supplement, Guardian, New Statesman, Literary Review, Sunday Telegraph, Financial Times, Independent and Daily Telegraph.
He has contributed many articles and features to various publications - including the International Herald Tribune and the part-works A History of the English-Speaking Peoples and The British Empire, and to History Today, The Mail on Sunday, BBC History Magazine, Sunday Telegraph, New Statesman, New Society, Financial Times.
A considerable number of his books have been published in the United States. Among the languages into which some of his work has been translated are: Dutch, French, Italian, Greek, Czech, Swedish, Finnish, Bulgarian, Japanese and Chinese.
He has recently been appointed a Professor to New York University at their London Campus.