Frederick York Powell, regius professor of modern history at Oxford and author, was born on 14 January 1850. Powell received a B.A. from Christ Church in 1872. In 1874, he was appointed to a lectureship at Christ Church in law. Powell's interest was not in law, but in early English, French, German, and Icelandic history and literature. He held this post until 1894, when he was appointed regius professor of modern history, a position he held until his death. Powell died in Oxford on 8 May 1904.

Frederick York Powell wrote and contributed to many significant books, including:

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