Professor John Adamson

Director of the Humanities Research Institute, Professorial Research Fellow in Modern History and Fellow of Peterhouse, University of Cambridge

John Adamson is a Professorial Research Fellow of the Humanities Research Institute, Chairman of its Advisory Board, and a Fellow of Peterhouse, University of Cambridge. Born in Australia, he was educated at the University of Melbourne, where he took a First in Classics and History, and at the University ofCambridge where he took his PhD as a Research Scholar at Christ’s College. He moved to Peterhouse on the completion of his doctorate to take up a Research Fellowship, and has remained a Fellow of the College since.

His historical research has focused on the political and cultural life of Britain and Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and his books include The Noble Revolt: the Overthrow of Charles I (2007), named by The Economist as one of its ‘Book of the Year’ and described by the London Review of Books as the most important work on the period for more than half a century; and two edited collections, The Princely Courts of Europe (1999); and The English Civil War: Conflict and Contexts (2009).

His historical writings have received a number of prizes and awards, including the Royal Historical Society’s Alexander Prize, Cambridge University’s Seeley Medal and Thirlwall Prize for History, and the Samuel Pepys Award and Latham Medal for his book The Noble Revolt.

In the United States, he has been a Visiting Fellow at Yale University and at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Visiting Scholar at the Aspen Institute (Colorado), where he has also served as a Moderator for its Leadership Seminar. He is a member of the editorial board of History Today; Academic Advisor to the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a London-based think-tank); Academic Director of the Weidenfeld Scholarships Programme at the University of Oxford.

He is a regular reviewer for the London Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Financial Times, The Literary Review, and The Times Literary Supplement.

His current research projects include a new history of the civil wars in the Stuart Kingdoms in the 1640s; the ecclesiastical and political career of Matthew Wren; Pieter Paul Rubens’s activities as a diplomat; and a history of colour in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.