Lisa Jardine

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Lisa Jardine
Professor Lisa Jardine CBE FRS.jpg
Jardine in 2015, portrait from the Royal Society
Born Lisa Anne Bronowski
(1944-04-12)12 April 1944
Oxford, England
Died 25 October 2015(2015-10-25) (aged 71)[1]
Cause of death Cancer
Nationality British
Alma mater
Occupation Historian
  • Nick Jardine (m. 1969; dissolved 1979)
  • John Robert Hare (m. 1982)
Children 2 sons, 1 daughter[2]

Lisa Anne Jardine, CBE FRS[3] FRHistS (née Bronowski; 12 April 1944 – 25 October 2015) was a British historian of the early modern period. From 1990 to 2011, she was Centenary Professor of Renaissance Studies[5] and Director of the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters at Queen Mary University of London. From 2008 to January 2014 she was Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).[6][7][8][9][10]

Jardine was a Member of Council of the Royal Institution, until 2009. On 1 September 2012, she relocated with her research centre and staff to University College London (UCL) to become founding director of its Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Humanities.[1]

Education and early life

Jardine was born on 12 April 1944 in Oxford,[2][11] the eldest child of Jacob Bronowski and the sculptor Rita Coblentz.[12] Her father was the subject of her Conway Memorial Lecture, "Things I Never Knew About My Father", delivered at the Conway Hall Ethical Society on 26 June 2014.

Jardine was educated at Cheltenham Ladies' College, Newnham College, Cambridge, and the University of Essex.[2] For two years she took the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos before, in her final year and under the influence of Raymond Williams, she read English. She studied for an MA in the Literary Theory of Translation with Professor Donald Davie at the University of Essex. She was awarded a PhD from the University of Cambridge with a dissertation on Francis Bacon: Discovery and the Art of Discourse (subsequently published by Cambridge University Press).[citation needed]

Career and research

Jardine was Professor of Renaissance Studies at University College, London, where she was Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Humanities and Director of the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters. She was a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and an Honorary Fellow of King's College, and of Jesus College, Cambridge.

She was a Trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum for eight years, and was for five years a member of the Council of the Royal Institution in London. She was Patron of the Archives and Records Association and the Orange Prize. For the academic year 2007–08 she was seconded to the Royal Society in London as Expert Advisor to its Collections. She was a Trustee of the Chelsea Physic Garden.[4]

From 2008 to Jan 2014, Jardine served as Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority – the UK government regulator for assisted reproduction. In December 2011 she was appointed a Director of The National Archives.

Jardine published more than 50 scholarly articles in refereed journals and books, and 17 full-length books, both for an academic and for a general readership, a number of them in co-authorship with others (including Professor Anthony Grafton, Professor Alan Stewart and Professor Julia Swindells). She is the author of several best-selling general books, including Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance, Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution, and biographies of Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. Her book on Anglo-Dutch reciprocal influence in the 17th century, entitled Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland's Glory, published by HarperCollins UK in 2008 and HarperCollins USA in 2009, won the prestigious Cundill International Prize in History.

Jardine wrote and reviewed widely for the media, and presented and appeared regularly on arts, history and current affairs programmes for TV and radio. She was a regular writer and presenter of A Point of View, on BBC Radio 4: a book of the first two series of her talks was published by Preface Publishing in March 2008 and a second in 2009. She judged the 1996 Whitbread Prize for fiction, the 1999 Guardian First Book Award, the 2000 Orwell Prize and was Chair of Judges for the 1997 Orange Prize and the 2002 Man Booker Prize.

During the first semester of the 2008/9 academic year, Jardine was Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, jointly sponsored by NIAS and the Royal Library in The Hague. From 2009 to 2010, she was a Scaliger Visiting Fellow at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, and held the Sarton Chair and received the Sarton Medal at Ghent University in Belgium. She sat for several years on the prestigious Apeldoorn British Dutch Conference Steering Board, and was a member of the Recommendation Committee Stichting Huygens Tentoonstelling Foundation, set up to oversee the Constantijn and Christian Huygens Exhibition in the Grote Kerk in The Hague in 2013.

In June 2015 she was the guest on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. Her musical choices included "Why" by Annie Lennox, "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" by Bob Dylan and "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads. Her book choice was the full 12 volumes of P.S. Allen’s Latin Letters of Erasmus of Rotterdam.[13]

She was the author of many books, both scholarly and general, including The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man Who Measured London, Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution and On a Grander Scale: the Outstanding Career of Sir Christopher Wren. Her 2008 book Going Dutch won the 2009 Cundill Prize in History at McGill University, the world's premier history book prize worth $75,000. On 26 January 2011, Jardine appeared in a BBC documentary investigating her father's life and the history of science in the 20th century.[14]

She was noted for her cross-disciplinary approach to intellectual history and has been called "the pre-eminent historian of the scientific method." [15][16] On her death in October 2015, she was celebrated for her commitment to her students, and "her deep empathy for outsiders of all kinds—rebels, misfits and migrants." [15][17][18]



  • Francis Bacon: Discovery and the Art of Discourse (1974)
  • Still Harping on Daughters: Women and Drama in the Age of Shakespeare (1983)
  • From Humanism to the Humanities (1986), with Anthony Grafton
  • What's Left?: Women in Culture and the Labour Movement (1989), with Julia Swindells
  • Erasmus, Man of Letters: The Construction of Charisma in Print (1993)
  • Reading Shakespeare Historically[19]
  • Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance[20][21]
  • Erasmus: The Education of a Christian prince with the Panegyric for Archduke Philip of Austria (1997), editor
  • Hostage to Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon, with Alan Stewart [22]
  • Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution[23]
  • Francis Bacon: The New Organon (2000) editor with Michael Silverthorne
  • Global Interests: Renaissance Art Between East and West (2000), with Jerry Brotton
  • On a Grander Scale: The Outstanding Career of Sir Christopher Wren (2002)
  • For the Sake of Argument (2003)
  • The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man Who Measured London [24][25]
  • London's Leonardo: The Life and Work of Robert Hooke (2003), with Jim Bennett, Michael Cooper and Michael Hunter
  • Grayson Perry (2004)
  • The Awful End of Prince William the Silent: The First Assassination of a Head of State with a Hand-Gun (2005)
  • Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland's Glory[26]
  • Temptation in the Archives: Essays in Golden Age Dutch Culture[27][28]

Broadcasting and lectures

Awards and honours

Jardine was President of the Antiquarian Horological Society,[29] a learned society focused on matters relating to the art and history of time measurement.

Jardine was a former chairman of the governing body at Westminster City School for Boys in London (which her younger son attended), and a former Chair of the Curriculum Committee on the governing body of St Marylebone Church of England School for Girls also in London. She was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2015.[4] Her certificate of election reads:

Jardine held honorary doctorates of Letters from the University of St Andrews, Sheffield Hallam University and the Open University, and an honorary doctorate of Science from the University of Aberdeen.[7] In November 2011, she was made an Honorary Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple. She was awarded the Francis Bacon Award in the History of Science by the California Institute of Technology in 2012, and collected the Bacon Medal for this award at the annual History of Science Society meeting in San Diego in September 2012. In November 2012 she received the British Academy President's Medal. In 2013–14 she served as President of the British Science Association, which in 2012 made her an Honorary Fellow.

Personal life

In 1969, she married the scientist Nicholas Jardine,[30] with whom she had a son and a daughter. Their marriage was dissolved in 1979.[2][31] In 1982, she married the architect John Hare,[32] with whom she had one son.[2][31] She was the cousin of television director Laurence Moody and actress Clare Lawrence Moody.

Jardine died of cancer on 25 October 2015, aged 71.[33][34][35][36]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 JARDINE, Prof. Lisa Anne. Who's Who. 2015 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (subscription required)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Certificate of election: EC/2015/58 Lisa Jardine". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-10-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Professor Lisa Jardine CBE FRS Honorary Fellow". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-09-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Lisa Jardine", Gresham College.
  6. "Professor Lisa Jardine to step down as Chair of the HFEA". HFEA. 26 October 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Jardine Staff Profile at Centre for Editing Lives and Letters". Archived from the original on 2015-01-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Official Jardine home page,; accessed 26 October 2015. Archived 30 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  9. Jardine profile,; accessed 26 October 2016.
  10. Video interview of Lisa Jardine by Alan Macfarlane,; accessed 26 October 2015.
  11. "Births index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 26 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Lisa Jardine Obituary: Rita Bronowski [Coblentz], The Guardian, 22 September 2010.
  13. "BBC Radio 4 – Desert Island Discs, Lisa Jardine". BBC.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. 14.0 14.1 "My Father, the Bomb and Me",; accessed 26 October 2015.
  15. 15.0 15.1
  16. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  17. "Lisa Jardine: A mischievous laugh, unbelievably cool". Retrieved 2016-04-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  19. (1996) [ISBN missing]
  20. (1996) [ISBN missing]
  21. Ryder, Alan (5 January 1997). "Review: Worldly Goods by Lisa Jardine". NY Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Hostage to Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon (1998), with Alan Stewart [ISBN missing]
  23. (1999) [ISBN missing]
  24. The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man Who Measured London (2003) [ISBN missing]
  25. Uglow, Jenny (12 September 2003). "Review: The Curious Life of Robert Hooke by Lisa Jardine". The Guardian.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. (2008) [ISBN missing]
  27. (2015), available as a free Open Access download from UCL Press) [ISBN missing]
  28. Louwerse, Henriette (20 August 2015). "Review: Temptation in the Archives: Essays in Golden Age Dutch Culture by Lisa Jardine". Times Higher Education.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "About us", Antiquarian Horological Society.
  30. Marriage registration Cambridgeshire 4a 992, Jul–Sep 1969
  31. 31.0 31.1 "Prize fighter". the Guardian.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. Marriage registration Westminster 15 1624, Jul–Sep 1982
  33. Lisa Jardine dies: the historian who cared about ethical issues Lisa Jardine Obituary in the The Independent
  34. Lisa Jardine, historian - obituary in the The Daily Telegraph
  35. Renowned historian Lisa Jardine dies aged 71 Lisa Jardine Obituary in the The Guardian
  36. "Lisa Jardine: Tributes after renowned historian dies". BBC News.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>