Robert Sale


Membership Grade: Professional Member

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General Experience

I have an enquiring mind and love to discover new things.

I would be delighted to index any subject, but my current strengths include:


History (All Areas)

My degree is in history (including archaeology) and I remain fascinated by the subject in the widest sense. I am eager to extend my knowledge geographically, currently on Asian and African history, and also into the deep past where history blurs into archaeology, palaeontology, geology, climate and the earth sciences.

Medieval History

Educated to degree level, I particularly enjoy Norman and Angevin England and France, Islamic and Medieval Spain and have a wide knowledge of world history from late antiquity to the renaissance.

American History

Educated to Degree level, I am strong on the early Republic, Civil War and Reconstruction, 20th Century politics, society and foreign policy, military history and the rise to superpower.

Ancient History

Educated to degree level, I have good general knowledge from the first civilisations to late antiquity, particularly the Republic and Empire of Rome, Ancient and Classical Greece, Egypt and the middle east.

British History

Educated to degree level, my strengths include Stuart, Georgian, 19th and 20th century history in all aspects. I am fascinated by social, political and military history, the rise and fall of industry and empire, World War II and post-war Britain.

European History

Educated to degree level, I have good general knowledge from the Renaissance to the modern day. Specialisms include the age of Louis XIV, Revolutionary and Napoleonic Europe, military history and the re-shaping of the post-war continent.

History and Philosophy of Science

From Plato to Popper, via alchemists, explorers, lunar men, naturalists, quantum pioneers and cosmologists, the unfolding quest to understand our place in the universe, is one I find endlessly fascinating.

Military History

I have a good understanding of the history of warfare from ancient to modern, specialising in the English Civil wars, the wars of Louis XIV, the Revolutionary and Napoleonic era, the American Civil War, Franco-Prussian war, the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars and the Falklands.


I studied Archaeology as part of my degree and have been captivated ever since. I am fascinated by the deep pre-history of humanity, studied Roman Britain and British pre-history at University, and love to expand my knowledge.

Modern History

I am fascinated by post-War history in all aspects, including the origins, course and end of the Cold War, the end of Empire and the post-Colonial world, social and economic change and the great acceleration to our connected world of seven billion people.

Naval/Nautical Subjects

I am fascinated by maritime history and the design, construction and use of warships, the organisation of navies and war at sea.


Civil and military aviation has been a passion since an early age, particularly World War II in the air and the post-war era of silver machines.


I studied World War II at degree level, concentrating on the war at sea, strategic bombing, the British home front and the war against Japan. I have a good knowledge of warfare from ancient to modern and of the organisation and development of defence policies and armed forces.

Sciences (All Areas)

I am a non-scientist who loves science. It is thrilling to live in a golden age of scientific discovery, from the furthest reaches of the observable universe to deep time, the dynamics of the planet and the impact of humanity, to the glories of the biosphere of planet Earth.

Earth Sciences

In the Anthropocene, the interaction between the brilliant creativity and destructive power of human beings and the intricate rhythms of the planet will have the most profound consequences for our future. I hope to have a good understanding of the past, present and possible futures of the dynamics of the earth.


I am fascinated by the natural history of life on Earth from the mysteries of the origin of life, its complex relationship with a dynamic planet, the rise and fall of species and the deep origins of human beings until palaeontology blurs into archaeology.


I studied Geology at A-Level, just after plate tectonics had become established as its new guiding theory. I remain enthralled by the shaping and reshaping of our planet over four and a half billion years. I also love to investigate the clues in the landscape to our deep geological past.


The complex and subtle workings of the climate of the deep past to today’s warming world have captured my interest along with the day to day pleasures of the brisk cloudscapes of the British weather.


We are part of nature; we live in the biosphere. I love ecology because of the beautiful interrelationships between living things (including us) and the environments in which they live, and also the insights we can gain from nature in the complex but ordered networks and connections to help humanity navigate climate change and biodiversity loss in the hot 21st century.


I find animal life fascinating. From the deep evolutionary and the malleability of form and anatomy to fit ever changing ecological niches. I also love the day to day observation of birds and other wildlife in the countryside in which I feel privileged to live.


I feel privileged to live in a golden age of astronomy, from the exploration of the solar system, the discovery of exoplanets and the teasing out of the cosmological past and future from the most distant objects within our vision.


Travelling and reading about travel opens the mind and I love to read writers and guides with the skill to get under the skin of a place and culture.

Recent indexes include

Hazel Gray, Turbulence and Order in Economic Development: Institutions and Economic Development in Tanzania and Vietnam. , Oxford University Press, 2018
Paul Nugent, Boundaries, Communities and State-Making in West Africa., Cambridge University Press, 2019
Dorothy Jamieson, Willington and the Mowbrays: After the Peasants’ Revolt, Boydell Press, 2019
Adrian Williamson, Europe and the decline of social democracy in Britain: From Attlee to Brexit, Boydell Press, 2019
Richard Noakes, Physics and Psychics: The occult and the sciences in modern Britain, Cambridge University Press, 2019
Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl, Quagmire in Civil War, Cambridge University Press, 2019
Rasmus Sinding Søndergaard, Reagan, Congress and Human Rights: Contesting morality in US foreign policy, Cambridge University Press, 2019
Michael Morris, The Rt Hon. The Lord Naseby, Sri Lanka: Paradise lost, paradise regained, Unicorn Press, 2020
Richard J. Cullen, In Which They Served: Five men and women of the Great War, Uniform, 2020
Geraint Thomas, Popular Conservatism and the Culture of National Government in Inter-War Britain, Cambridge University Press, 2020


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