John Edward Christopher Hill (6 February 1912 – 23 February 2003), usually known simply as Christopher Hill, was an English Marxist historian and author of textbooks.
Hill was born into a prosperous middle class family — his father was a solicitor — of Methodists in York. He attended St Peter's School, York. When he sat his entrance examination at Balliol College, Oxford, the two history tutors from Balliol College, Oxford University recognised Hill's ability and offered him a place to forestall any chance he might go to Cambridge.
Before he went up to Oxford in 1931, Hill had a prolonged holiday in Freiburg, Germany, where he witnessed the rise of the Nazi Party; he later said it contributed significantly to the radicalisation of his politics. In 1932, Hill won a first-class honours degree and won an All Souls Fellowship two years later. Whilst at Balliol, Hill became a committed Marxist and joined the Communist Party of Great Britain. In 1935, he undertook a prolonged trip to the Soviet Union, where he learnt Russian and studied Soviet historical scholarship, particularly that relating to Britain. After returning, he accepted a teaching position at Cardiff University.
Hill attempted to join the International Brigade and fight in the Spanish Civil War, but was rejected. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, he joined the British Army, initially as a Private in the Field Security Police. He was soon afterwards commissioned as an officer in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, in 1940. That same year, he took part in a debate among many Marxist historians. At around this time, Hill started to publish his articles and reviews about 17th century English history. Later in the war he transferred to the Intelligence Corps.
In 1946, Hill and many other Marxist historians formed the Communist Party Historians Group. However, Hill soon became discontented with the lack of democracy in the Communist Party. He left the party in 1956, with many other intellectuals, after the Soviet invasion of Hungary when one of his reports was rejected.