skip to primary navigationskip to content

Rhys Jones

Rhys Jones

Research Fellow, Sidney Sussex College

8 Montagu House,
Sidney Sussex College,
Cambridge CB2 3HU


I grew up in Neath, South Wales, before completing my BA, MPhil and PhD at the University of Cambridge. In 2013, I received the Wolfson Scholarship in the Humanities, and in 2016, I was appointed Research Fellow in History at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

My research focuses primarily upon the shifting perception of time during the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. I privilege the lived experience of time - the sensation of compression, acceleration, stagnation, instantaneity - above chronometric or calendrical innovation and experimentation as a means of explaining how and why institutions of power (from British imperial rule in America to the French ancien regime) crumbled.

I am currently working on two projects. The first is a book-length study of the interactions of time and political legitimacy during the age of revolutions, 1775-1799, primarily in America and France, based on my doctoral thesis. The second, a new project, is intended to be a history of time and power under the Napoleonic Empire.

Subject groups/Research projects

American History:
Early Modern History:

Departments and Institutes

Sidney Sussex College:
Junior Research Fellow (History)

Research Interests

  • Time and Temporality
  • Chaos and Revolution
  • Napoleonic Empire
  • Early American Republic
  • 18th Century Intellectual History

My MPhil dissertation assessed the sonic resonances of French revolutionary rhetoric in the music of Ludwig van Beethoven, focusing in particular upon the relationship between musical receptivity and radical political participation in Vienna prior to the Congress of 1814-15.


I teach Part I supervisions in the Faculty of History:

  • Paper 16 (European History, 1450-1760)
  • Paper 17 (European History, 1715-1890)
  • Historical Argument and Practice (time, power, memory, revolutions).

Key Publications

Journal Articles

'1816 and the resumption of "ordinary history,"' The Journal of Modern European History (January, 2016).

'Beethoven and the sound of revolution in Vienna, 1792-1814,' The Historical Journal (December, 2014).

Other Publications


'The impatience of Marine Le Pen,' London Review of Books (10 March 2017)

'Welcome to the Era of Superfast Politics,' The Spectator (29 January 2017)

'Make America Great (Britain) Again!,' History Today (11 January 2017)

'Donald Trump and the Election of 1800,' History Today (19 October 2016)