Alexandra Walsham: The Reformation of the Landscape

A remarkable new look at familiar historical themes

Wilfrid Prest

 

The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Identity, and Memory in Early Modern Britain and Ireland
by Alexandra Walsham
Oxford University Press, $65 hb, 653 pp, 9780199243556

 

Australian universities have long taught early modern (c.1500–1750) English/British and European history, but with Alexandra Walsham’s recent appointment as the first female to occupy a Cambridge history chair, there are now (with Oxford’s Lyndal Roper) two Melbourne-trained early modernist Oxbridge professors. Banalities about the empire striking back are hard to resist. True, Walsham was born in Cornwall. But she emigrated to Australia as a child, and only returned to England on a postgraduate scholarship in 1990 after completing a Melbourne MA (published as Church Papists: Catholicism, Conformity and Confessional Polemic in Early Modern England, 1993) under my own teacher, Don Kennedy. Her multiple prize-winning Providence in Early Modern England (1999) grew out of a Cambridge PhD dissertation supervised by the now late and sadly lamented Patrick Collinson, whose engaging autobiographical History of a History Man (2011) includes a chapter on his own academic sojourn at Sydney from 1969 to 1976.

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Wilfrid Prest

Wilfrid Prest

Wilfrid Prest, born and educated in Melbourne, is Professor Emeritus in History and Law at the University of Adelaide and was president of the History Council of South Australia. He is the author of William Blackstone: Law and Letters in the Eighteenth Century (2008). His edited book Pasts Present: History at Australia’s Third University was published in 2014 by Wakefield Press.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.