Open main menu

Kevin M. Sharpe (26 January 1949 –  5 November 2011) was a historian, Director of the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, Leverhulme Research Professor and Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London. He is best known for his work on the reign of Charles I of England.[1]


Education and careerEdit

He studied as an undergraduate and postgraduate at St Catherine's College, Oxford,[1] and from 1974 to 1978, he was a junior research fellow at Oriel College, Oxford. Formerly he was visiting Professor to Princeton, Stanford, The California Institute of Technology, The Australian National University and The Max Planck Institute, Goettingen.[2] He was also lecturer at the University of Southampton, where he was awarded a personal chair in 1994. From 2001 he worked at the University of Warwick, and from 2005 at Queen Mary.[1]

During the late 1970s and 1980s, Sharpe, together with scholars such as Conrad Russell, John Morrill, and Mark Kishlansky, was labeled a revisionist political historian for his criticism of the so-called Whigs' historical narrative of the English Revolution.[3] Particularly, Sharpe advocated a revisionist interpretation of the period in English history beginning from the Caroline period towards the English Revolution, suggesting that the English nation during the 1620s was not as divided as traditionally portrayed.[4] As a leading revisionist, he welcomed the shift towards increased role of literary and artistic representations in the chronicle of early modern politics.[5]


  • Image Wars: Promoting Kings and Commonwealths in England, 1603-1660, Yale University Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0300162004
  • Selling the Tudor Monarchy: Authority and Image in Sixteenth Century England, YUP, 2009, ISBN 978-0300140989
  • Remapping Early Modern England: The Culture of Seventeenth-Century Politics, Cambridge University Press, 2000, ISBN 978-0521664097
  • Reading Revolutions: The Politics of Reading in Early Modern England, Yale University Press, 2000, ISBN 0300081529
  • The Personal Rule of Charles I, Yale University Press, 1992, ISBN 978-0300056884
  • Criticism and Compliment: The Politics of Literature in the England of Charles I, CUP, 1987, ISBN 978-0521386616
  • Sir Robert Cotton, 1586-1631: History and Politics in Early Modern England, OUP, 1979, ISBN 978-0198218777

As editor:

  • Sharpe, Kevin; Zwicker, Steven N., eds. (1987). Politics of Discourse: The Literature and History of Seventeenth-Century England. Berkeley, CA: UCP. ISBN 978-0520060708.



  1. ^ a b c Kevin Sharpe obituary, The Guardian
  2. ^ "Professor Kevin Sharpe". Queen Mary University. Archived from the original on 2011-01-20.
  3. ^ Zucker, Adam; Farmer, Alan (2006). Localizing Caroline Drama: Politics and Economics of the Early Modern English Stage, 1625-1642. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. xvi. ISBN 9781349534050.
  4. ^ Ellison, James (2002). George Sandys: Travel, Colonialism, and Tolerance in the Seventeenth Century, Volume 8. Suffolk, UK: D.S. Brewer. p. 7. ISBN 0859917509.
  5. ^ Smuts, R. Malcolm (2016). The Oxford Handbook of the Age of Shakespeare. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 3. ISBN 9780199660841.
  6. ^ a b c d Kevin Sharpe, 1949-2011, Times Higher Education

External linksEdit