Dr Harriet Lyon

J. H. Plumb College Lecturer, Christ's College
Dr Harriet Lyon

I am currently the J. H. Plumb College Lecturer and Director of Studies in History (Parts IA and IB) at Christ's College. I was previously the A. H. Lloyd Junior Research Fellow at Christ's, and hold a BA, MPhil, and PhD from the University of Cambridge.

I am a historian of early modern Britain, with particular interests in the religious and cultural history of the English Reformation and in the fields of historical memory and temporalities. My first book, Memory and the Dissolution of the Monasteries in Early Modern England (Cambridge UP) was published in 2021. I am currently working on projects connected to memory, nostalgia, time, and periodisation in the early modern period.

My PhD research explored the complex afterlives of the dissolution of the monasteries, 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. My thesis was revised and published as Memory and the Dissolution of the Monasteries in Early Modern England in 2021. The book seeks to recover the significance of the dissolution to the wider processes of the English Reformation and early modern senses of the past. It was shortlisted for the 2021 Royal Historical Society Whitfield Prize for a first book in any field of British or Irish history.

More broadly, I am interested in the enduring cultural, political, and religious impact of the Protestant Reformation and the ways in which contemporary practices of memory making have shaped modern historiography. Current interests include early modern senses of nostalgia, memory, time, and periodisation. A volume on Early Modern Nostalgia: Memory, Temporality, and Emotion, co-edited with Alex Walsham, is forthcoming with Boydell & Brewer in 2023.

In Part IA, I primarily offer supervisions for the Outline paper on Early Modern Britain. I also supervise at IB for the Topic on The Reformations and their Discontents.

In the current Part II, I also offer HAP supervisions on Memory and Religion, and I teach a range of topics for the new Historical Thinking papers at IA and IB.

I am currently a co-convenor of the Early Modern British and Irish Seminar and the Early Modern Scholarship and Religion Seminar: 




I am also Associate Editor and Book Reviews Editor for the journal Reformation:



Tags & Themes


Christ's College, St Andrew's Street, Cambridge CB2 3BU


Harriet Lyon, Memory and the Dissolution of the Monasteries in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2021): https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/memory-and-the-dissolution-of-the-monasteries-in-early-modern-england/04A7116B396B8D0CB96B3BC80F368556#fndtn-contents

Harriet Lyon and Alexandra Walsham (eds.), Nostalgia in the Early Modern World (Woodbridge, 2023): https://boydellandbrewer.com/9781783277698/nostalgia-in-the-early-modern-world/ 

Harriet Lyon, 'Re-thinking nostalgic antiquarianism: time, space, and the English Reformation', The Seventeenth Century, online edition, 2022 (print forthcoming): https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0268117X.2022.2074874?scroll=top&needAccess=true

Harriet Lyon, '" Superstition remains at this hour": The friers chronicle (1623) and England's long Reformation', Reformation 24 (2019), pp. 107-21: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13574175.2019.1665273

Harriet Lyon, '"A pitiful thing"? The dissolution of the English monasteries in early modern chronicles, c. 1540-c. 1640', Sixteenth Century Journal 49 (2018), pp. 1037-56: https://www.escj.org/article/“-pitiful-thing”-afterlife-dissolution-english-monasteries-early-modern-chronicles-ca-1540 

Harriet Lyon, 'The Fisherton monster: science, providence, and politics in early Restoration England', Historical Journal 60 (2017), pp. 333-62: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/historical-journal/article/fisherton-monster-science-providence-and-politics-in-early-restoration-england/5F347B5235C7BAB26EC36D42D07E38BE