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Alexandra Marie Walsham, CBE, FRHistS, FBA, FAHA (born 4 January 1966) is a British/Australian historian and academic. She specialises in early modern Britain and in the impact of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations. Since 2010, she has been Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. She is co-editor of Past & Present and Vice-President of the Royal Historical Society.

Alexandra Walsham
Born (1966-01-04) 4 January 1966 (age 53)
Hayle, Cornwall, England
ResidenceUnited Kingdom
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne (BA, MA)
Trinity College, Cambridge (PhD)
AwardsFellow of the Royal Historical Society (1999)
Wolfson History Prize (2012)
Fellow of the British Academy (2009)
Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (2013)
Scientific career
FieldsEarly modern history
Reformation history
InstitutionsEmmanuel College, Cambridge
University of Exeter
Trinity College, Cambridge
ThesisAspects of providentialism in early modern England (1995)
Doctoral advisorPatrick Collinson

Early life and educationEdit

Walsham was born on 4 January 1966 in Hayle, Cornwall,[1] and spent her early childhood in England. She and her family emigrated to Australia when she was young.[2] She studied History with English at the University of Melbourne, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree and a Master of Arts (MA) degree.[3] In 1990, she was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to study early modern history at the University of Cambridge.[4] She undertook postgraduate research at Trinity College, Cambridge under the supervision of Patrick Collinson, the then Regius Professor of History. In 1995, she completed her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree with a thesis titled Aspects of providentialism in early modern England.[2][5]

Academic careerEdit

Walsham began her academic career as a research fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge between 1993 and 1996.[3] In 1996, she moved to the University of Exeter where she was a lecturer in history.[2] She was promoted to senior lecturer in 2000 and was granted a personal chair (professorship) in Reformation History in 2005.[3] From 2007 to 2010, she served as Head of Department.[2] In 2010, she returned to the University of Cambridge as Professor of Modern History and was elected a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.[3]

She is Vice President of the Royal Historical Society and Chair of its General Purposes Committee.[6] She is one of the series editors of the Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History,[7] and co-editor of Past & Present, an academic journal specialising in social history.[6]

On 17 October 2013, she appeared on an episode of In Our Time to discuss the Book of Common Prayer.[8] In February 2015, she gave the annual Bishop Van Mildert Lecture at the University of Durham; it was titled 'Domesticating the Reformation: Material Culture, Memory and Confessional Identity in Early Modern England'.[9] She gave the Neale Lecture at University College London in October 2015.[10] She has been elected to give the Ford Lectures at the University of Oxford in 2017/2018.[3]


In 1999, Walsham was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS).[11] In 2009, she was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA).[2] In 2013, she was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (FAHA)[11] and was President of the Ecclesiastical History Society (2012-13).[12] She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to history.[13]

In 2000, she was awarded the Longman-History Today Award and the American Historical Association’s Morris D. Forkosch Prize for her monograph Providence in Early Modern England.[3] For her monograph The Reformation of the Landscape, she was awarded the Leo Gershoy Award in 2011 and the Wolfson History Prize in 2012.[14][15][16]

Selected worksEdit

  • Walsham, Alexandra (1993). Church papists: Catholicism, conformity, and confessional polemic in early modern England. Woodbridge, Suffolk, Uk: Boydell Press. ISBN 978-0861932252.
  • Walsham, Alexandra (1999). Providence in early modern England. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198206552.
  • Crick, Julia; Walsham, Alexandra, eds. (2004). The uses of script and print, 1300-1700. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521810630.
  • Walsham, Alexandra (2006). Charitable hatred: tolerance and intolerance in England, 1500 - 1700. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0719052392.
  • Marshall, Peter; Walsham, Alexandra, eds. (2006). Angels in the early modern world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521843324.
  • Jones, E. A.; Walsham, Alexandra, eds. (2010). Syon Abbey and its books: reading, writing and religion in England, c.1400-1700. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer. ISBN 978-1843835479.
  • Walsham, Alexandra, ed. (2010). Relics and remains. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199600588.
  • Walsham, Alexandra (2011). The reformation of the landscape: religion, identity, and memory in early modern Britain and Ireland. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199243556.
  • Walsham, Alexandra (2014). Catholic Reformation in Protestant Britain. Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978-0754657231.
  • Doran, John; Methuen, Charlotte; Walsham, Alexandra, eds. (2014). Religion and the household: papers read at the 2012 Summer meeting and the 2013 Winter meeting of the Ecclesiastical History Society. Ecclesiastical History Society. ISBN 978-0954681029.


  1. ^ "Walsham, Prof. Alexandra Marie". Who's Who 2018. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2017. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.250723. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e "Professor Alexandra Walsham". Elections to the Fellowship. British Academy. 2009. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Professor Alexandra Walsham FBA, FAHA". Faculty of History. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Alumnus is first woman to hold Cambridge Chair of Modern History". Alumni. Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Aspects of providentialism in early modern England". Newton Library Catalogues. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Professor Alexandra Walsham". Officers. The Royal Historical Society. 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History". Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  8. ^ "The Book of Common Prayer". In Our Time. BBC Radio 4. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Third Annual Bishop Van Mildert Lecture". Events List. University of Durham. 25 February 2015. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Neale Lecture - 28 October 2015". Events. University College London. Archived from the original on 30 July 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Professor Alexandra Marie Walsham, FBA". Directory of Expertise. Royal Historical Society. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  12. ^ Past Presidents - Ecclesiastical History Society
  13. ^ "No. 61962". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 June 2017. p. B10.
  14. ^ "Leo Gershoy Award Recipients". American Historical Association. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  15. ^ "Alexandra Walsham wins Wolfson History Prize". Trinity College, Cambridge. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  16. ^ "Previous winners". History Prize. The Wolfson Foundation. Archived from the original on 23 July 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2015.