On the Spot: Clare Jackson

‘A rising generation of ‘new diplomatic historians’ are reimagining diplomatic history.’

Detail from the exterior of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Katie Chan/Wiki Commons.

Why are you a historian of 17th-century Britain?

As an undergraduate, I became fascinated by the experiments in union and disunion attempted in these islands during the 17th century.

What’s the most important lesson history has taught you?


Which history book has had greatest influence on you?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Discourse on Inequality.

What book in your field should everyone read?

Geoffrey Parker’s Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century.

Which moment would you most like to go back to?

The arrival of William of Orange’s Dutch troops into London in December 1688.

Which historian has had the greatest influence on you?

Mark Goldie – my husband; long ago, my PhD supervisor.

Which person in history would you most like to have met? 

Elizabeth Pepys – to hear her side of the story.

How many languages do you have?

Not enough.

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