Isabelle Tombs was born in France, studied at the Université de Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne) and received a Ph.D in modern British history at Trinity College, Cambridge. Robert Tombs was born in England, studied at Cambridge, and conducted doctoral research on modern French history in France where he was connected to Université de Paris IV (Sorbonne). Presently, Isabelle teaches French at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Robert is a reader in French History at Cambridge and a Fellow of St. John's College. They live in Cambridge, England.