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Derek Hirst (born 1948, Isle of Wight) is an English historian of early modern Britain.

A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and author of four books and over thirty articles, Professor Hirst holds a B.A. (1969) and Ph.D (1974) from Cambridge University. He is the William Elliott Smith Professor of History at Washington University in St. Louis, where he has taught since the 1970s, supervising dozens of dissertations and serving as chair of the department for several years. His focus is on 17th-century England and his best known work is England In Conflict 1603-1660: Kingdom, Community, Commonwealth.

Hirst has also worked extensively on Andrew Marvell with Steven Zwicker, a colleague at Washington University in St. Louis. Hirst and Zwicker conducted an extensive review of Marvell's work and were the first to suggest that Marvell's campaigns for the rights of the individual were the result of "an inner struggle that tugged at every fiber of his personal life -- a lifelong effort to reconcile his own powerful homoerotic interests with the societal pressures of a repressive and highly patriarchal British culture." Their recent work has led them to be considered the leading experts on Marvell and they are currently authoring their findings in book form. [1]

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