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Harriet Lyon

Research Interests

I am a third-year PhD student working on the memory of Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, 1536-c.1700. My research explores the complex afterlives of the dissolution, asking when and why it was remembered variously as a moment of Protestant triumph or regret, an emblem of a lost medieval golden age, and a rupture in the social and cultural fabric of early modern England. It seeks to recover the significance of the dissolution to the wider processes of the English Reformation and early modern  senses of the past. More broadly, I am interested in the enduring cultural, political, and religious impact of the Protestant Reformation in England and the ways in which contemporary practices of memory making have shaped modern historiography, as well as in the relationship between memory and history.


I offer supervisions in the following papers in Part I of the Historical Tripos:

Paper 4: British political history, 1485-1714

Paper 9: British economic and social history, c. 1500-1750

Other Professional Activities

In 2015-16 I was a co-covenor of the Early Modern Interdisciplinary Seminar.

In September 2016, I was an organiser of the Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership conference, 'Time and Temporality':


  • Early Modern History

Key Publications

Harriet Lyon, 'The Fisherton monster: science, providence, and politics in early Restoration England', Historical Journal 60 (2017), pp. 333-62.