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Robert British & World English

The name of three kings of Scotland:

Adam, Robert British & World English

(1728–92), Scottish architect. He was influenced by neoclassical theory and, assisted by his brother James (1730–94), he initiated a lighter, more decorative style than the Palladianism favoured by the British architecture of the previous half-century

Bolt, Robert British & World English

(1924–95), English writer best known for the play A Man for All Seasons (1960) and the screenplays for Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Dr Zhivago (1965); full name Robert Oxton Bolt

herb Robert British & World English

A common cranesbill with pungent-smelling red-stemmed leaves and pink flowers, native to north temperate regions

Koch, Robert British & World English

(1843–1910), German bacteriologist, who identified the organisms causing anthrax, tuberculosis, and cholera. Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (1905)

Owen, Robert British & World English

(1771–1858), Welsh social reformer and industrialist. A pioneer socialist thinker, he founded a model industrial community in Scotland, organized on principles of mutual cooperation, the first of a series of cooperative communities

Robert in Kennedy British & World English

Robert (1925–68), US Attorney General 1961-4; full name Robert Francis Kennedy. He closely assisted his brother John in domestic policy, and was also a champion of the civil rights movement. He was assassinated during his campaign as a prospective presidential candidate

Robert in Stephenson, George British & World English

(1781–1848), English engineer, a pioneer of steam locomotives and railways. He built his first locomotive in 1814 and by 1825 had designed and driven an engine for the Stockton and Darlington Railway. With his son Robert (1803–59) he built the famous Rocket (1829), the prototype for all future steam locomotives. Robert is also famous as a bridge designer

Robert in William British & World English

William II (circa 1060–1100), son of William I, reigned 1087–1100; known as William Rufus. William crushed rebellions in 1088 and 1095 and also campaigned against his brother Robert, Duke of Normandy (1089–96), ultimately acquiring the duchy. He was killed by an arrow while out hunting

Altman, Robert British & World English

(1925–2006), American film director. He made his name with MASH (1970), a black comedy set in the Korean war. Other notable films include The Player (1992)

Boyle, Robert British & World English

(1627–91), Irish-born scientist. Boyle put forward a view of matter based on particles which was a precursor of the modern theory of chemical elements and a cornerstone of his mechanical philosophy, which became very influential. He is best known for his experiments with the air pump, which led to the law named after him

Bunsen, Robert British & World English

(1811–99), German chemist; full name Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen. With Gustav Kirchhoff he pioneered spectroscopy, detecting new elements (caesium and rubidium) and determining the composition of many substances and of the sun and stars. He designed numerous items of chemical apparatus, notably the Bunsen burner (1855)

Burns, Robert British & World English

(1759–96), Scottish poet, best known for poems such as ‘The Jolly Beggars’ (1786) and ‘Tam o’ Shanter‘ (1791), and for old Scottish songs which he collected, including ’Auld Lang Syne'

Burton, Robert British & World English

(1577–1640), English churchman and scholar, author of The Anatomy of Melancholy (first published 1621)

Clive, Robert British & World English

1st Baron Clive of Plassey (1725–74), British general and colonial administrator; known as Clive of India. In 1757 he recaptured Calcutta (now Kolkata), following the Black Hole incident, and gained control of Bengal. He served as governor of Bengal 1765-7, but was implicated in the East India company’s corruption scandals and committed suicide

De Niro, Robert British & World English

(B.1943), American actor. He has starred in many films, often playing tough characters and frequently working with director Martin Scorsese. He has won Oscars for The Godfather Part II (1974) and Raging Bull (1980)

Dudley, Robert British & World English

Earl of Leicester (circa 1532–88), English nobleman, military commander, and favourite of Elizabeth I

Frost, Robert British & World English

(1874–1963), American poet, noted for his ironic tone and simple language; full name Robert Lee Frost. Much of his poetry reflects his affinity with New England, including the collections North of Boston (1914) and New Hampshire (1923). He won the Pulitzer Prize on three occasions (1924; 1931; 1937)

Fulton, Robert British & World English

(1765–1815), American pioneer of the steamship. He constructed a steam-propelled ‘diving-boat’ in 1800, which submerged to a depth of 7.6 m (25 ft), and in 1806 he built the first successful paddle steamer, the Clermont

Gates, Robert British & World English

(1943-), US intelligence expert and cabinet member; full name Robert Michael Gates. After 26 years with the CIA, including its directorship 1991–93, he became US secretary of defense in 2006, serving under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama

Graves, Robert British & World English

(1895–1985), English poet, novelist, and critic, known for his interest in classics and mythology; full name Robert Ranke Graves. Notable prose works: Goodbye to All That (autobiography, 1929), I, Claudius (historical fiction, 1934), and The White Goddess (non-fiction, 1948)

Henri, Robert British & World English

(1865–1929), American painter. An advocate of realism, he believed that the artist must be a social force. The Ashcan School of painters was formed largely as a result of his influence

Hooke, Robert British & World English

(1635–1703), English scientist. He formulated the law of elasticity (Hooke’s law), proposed an undulating theory of light, introduced the term cell to biology, postulated elliptical orbits for the earth and moon, and proposed the inverse square law of gravitational attraction. He also invented or improved many scientific instruments and mechanical devices, and designed a number of buildings in London after the Great Fire

Lowell, Robert British & World English

(1917–77), American poet; full name Robert Traill Spence Lowell. His poetry, often describing his manic depression, is notable for its intense confessional nature and for its complex imagery

Ludlum, Robert British & World English

(1927–2001) US writer; pen names Jonathan Ryder, Michael Shepherd. He wrote suspense novels, including The Bourne Identity (1980), The Matarese Countdown (1997), and The Prometheus Deception (2000)

Morris, Robert British & World English

(1734–1806), US politician and financier. He represented Pennsylvania at the Continental Congress 1775–78 and signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He provided extensive financial support for the colonial war effort and was later appointed superintendent of finance 1781–84 by the Continental Congress. After serving in the US Senate 1789–95, he lost all his money in western land speculations and spent his final years in poverty

Mugabe, Robert British & World English

(B.1924), Zimbabwean statesman, Prime Minister 1980-7 and President since 1987; full name Robert Gabriel Mugabe. He became Prime Minister in Zimbabwe’s first post-independence elections. In 1987 his party ZANU merged with ZAPU and Mugabe became executive President of a one-party state

Musil, Robert British & World English

(1880–1942), Austrian novelist. He is best known for his unfinished novel The Man Without Qualities (1930–43), about the disintegration of traditional Austrian society just before the outbreak of the First World War

Pinsky, Robert British & World English

(1940-), US poet and writer. He served as US poet laureate 1997–2000. His poetry is collected in volumes such as History of My Heart (1984) and The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems, 1966–1996 (1996). His translation of The Inferno of Dante was published in 1994

Bakewell, Robert British & World English

(1725–95), English pioneer in scientific methods of livestock breeding and husbandry. He produced pedigree herds of sheep and cattle and increased the meat production from his animals through selective breeding

Bresson, Robert British & World English

(1907–99), French film director. His most notable films, most of which feature unknown actors, include Diary of a Country Priest (1951) and The Trial of Joan of Arc (1962)

Bridges, Robert British & World English

(1844–1930), English poet and literary critic; full name Robert Seymour Bridges. His long philosophical poem The Testament of Beauty (1929), written in the Victorian tradition, was instantly popular. He was Poet Laureate 1913–30

Browning, Robert British & World English

(1812–89), English poet. In 1842 he established his name with Dramatic Lyrics, containing ‘The Pied Piper of Hamelin’ and ‘My Last Duchess’

Delaunay, Robert British & World English

(1885–1941), French painter. For most of his career he experimented with the abstract qualities of colour, and he painted some of the first purely abstract pictures. He was one of the founder members of Orphism together with Sonia Delaunay-Terk

Doisneau, Robert British & World English

(1912–94), French photographer, best known for his photos of the city and inhabitants of Paris, such as ‘The Kiss at the Hôtel de Ville’ (1950)

Herrick, Robert British & World English

(1591–1674), English poet. He is best known for his collection Hesperides (1648), containing both secular and religious poems

Joffrey, Robert British & World English

(1930–88) US ballet dancer and choreographer; born Abdullah Jaffa Anver Bey Khan. He founded the Joffrey Ballet in the 1950s, affiliating with NewYork’s Lincoln Center in 1966

Johnson, Robert British & World English

(1911–38), American blues singer and guitarist. Despite his mysterious early death, he was very influential on the 1960s blues movement. Notable songs include “Love In Vain” and “Sweet Home Chicago.”

McNamara, Robert British & World English

(1916–2009), US businessman and public official; full name Robert Strange McNamara. He was secretary of the US Department of Defense 1961–68 during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and president of the World Bank 1968–81

MacNeil, Robert British & World English

(1931-), US broadcast journalist; born in Canada; full name Robert Breckenridge Ware MacNeil, also known as Robin MacNeil. With Jim Lehrer he anchored the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour (1983–95) on PBS

Maxwell, Robert British & World English

(1923–91), Czech-born British publisher and media entrepreneur; born Jan Ludvik Hoch; full name Ian Robert Maxwell. He died in obscure circumstances while yachting off Tenerife; it subsequently emerged that he had misappropriated company pension funds

Mitchum, Robert British & World English

(1917–97), American actor. He was a professional boxer before rising to stardom in films such as Out of the Past (1947), Night of the Hunter (1955), and Farewell My Lovely (1975)

Redford, Robert British & World English

(B.1936), American film actor and director; full name Charles Robert Redford. He made his name playing opposite Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), co-starring again with him in The Sting (1973). Other notable films include Ordinary People (1980), for which he won an Oscar as director

Schumann, Robert British & World English

(1810–56), German composer; full name Robert Alexander Schumann. He was a leading romantic composer, particularly noted for his songs (including settings of poems by Heinrich Heine and Robert Burns) and piano music. His other works include four symphonies and much chamber music. His wife Clara (1819–96) was a noted pianist and composer

Southey, Robert British & World English

(1774–1843), English poet. Associated with the Lake Poets, he is best known for his shorter poems, such as the ‘Battle of Blenheim’ (1798). He was made Poet Laureate in 1813

Stirling, Robert British & World English

(1790–1878), Scottish engineer and Presbyterian minister. In 1816 he invented (with the help of his brother James) a type of external-combustion engine using heated air

Trimble, Robert British & World English

(1776–1828), US Supreme Court associate justice 1826–28. Appointed to the Court by President John Quincy Adams, he was an advocate of federal supremacy

Venturi, Robert British & World English

(B.1925), American architect, pioneer of postmodernist architecture; full name Robert Charles Venturi. Among his buildings are the Humanities Classroom Building of the State University of New York (1973) and the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery in London (1991)

Baden-Powell, Robert British & World English

1st Baron Baden-Powell of Gilwell (1857–1941), English soldier and founder of the Boy Scout movement; full name Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell. He became a national hero after his successful defence of Mafeking (1899–1900) in the Boer War

Grosseteste, Robert British & World English

(Circa 1175–1253), English churchman, philosopher, and scholar. His experimental approach to science, especially in optics and mathematics, inspired his pupil Roger Bacon


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