Jardine, Lisa A. 1944–
Jardine, Lisa A. 1944–
(Lisa Anne Jardine)
PERSONAL: Born April 12, 1944; daughter of Jacob Bronowski (a scientist and historian) and Rita Coblenz; married Nicholas Jardine, 1969 (marriage ended); married John Robert Hare, 1982; children: (first marriage) one son, one daughter; (second marriage) one son. Education: Cheltenham Ladies' College, England, B.A., 1966; University of Essex, M.A., 1967; Newnham College, Cambridge, England, M.A., 1973. Hobbies and other interests: Conversation, cookery, and contemporary art.
CAREER: Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, professor of English and dean of the Faculty of Arts; Queen Mary College, professor of Renaissance studies and director of the AHRB Research Centre for Editing Lives and Letters.
AWARDS, HONORS: Resident fellow, Cornell University, 1974–75; resident fellow, Girton College, University of Cambridge, 1974–75; King's College, fellow, 1975–76, honorary fellow, 1995; Orange Prize for Fiction, 1997.
Still Harping on Daughters: Women and Drama in the Age of Shakespeare, Barnes and Noble (Totowa, NJ), 1983.
(With Anthony Grafton) From Humanism to Humanities: Education and the Liberal Arts in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Europe, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1986.
(With Julia Swindells) What's Left?: Women in Culture and the Labour Movement, Routledge (New York, NY), 1990.
Erasmus, Man of Letters: The Construction of Charisma in Print, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1993.
Reading Shakespeare Historically, Routledge (New York, NY), 1996.
Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance, Nan A. Talese (New York, NY), 1996.
(Editor) The Education of a Christian Prince, translated by Neil M. Cheshire, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1997.
(With Alan Stewart) Hostage to Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon, Hill & Wang (New York, NY), 1999.
Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution, Nan A. Talese (New York, NY), 1999.
(Editor, with Michael Silverthorne) Francis Bacon, The New Organon, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2000.
(With Jerry Brotton) Global Interests: Renaissance Art between East and West, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2000.
On a Grander Scale: The Outstanding Life of Sir Christopher Wren, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.
London's Leonardo: The Life and Work of Robert Hooke, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2003, published as The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man Who Measured London, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.
The Awful End of Prince William the Silent: The First Assassination of a Head of State with a Handgun, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.
Also contributor to numerous newspapers and magazines.
SIDELIGHTS: Lisa A. Jardine has illustrated through her published works an intense interest in history, culture, and social movements. Jardine's first published work was titled Francis Bacon: Discovery and the Art of Discourse, and Bacon will remain an historical figure of interest to Jardine in her later work. Another figure of interest for Jardine is William Shakespeare.
In Still Harping on Daughters: Women and Drama in the Age of Shakespeare, Jardine argues that the portrayal of women on stage does not prove that Shakespeare desired social change for women. Frank Kermode, a reviewer for New York Review of Books, commented that Jardine "doesn't think Shakespeare was holding up a mirror to the condition of women, or that he had strong views about the need to change it." The critic further commented that during the Elizabethan Age "the need to keep women down engendered the myth of their dangerous sexuality," adding that Jardine "makes the interesting and possibly controversial point that social change had the effect of constricting women not, as the books more usually say, of liberating them." Tinsley Helton, writing in Seventeenth-Century News, stated that Jardine "alerts readers to material they may not have encountered before." Jardine herself commented in the introductory chapter that "interest in women shown by Elizabethan and Jacobean drama … is related to the patriarchy's … worry about the great social changes which characterize the period." Helton emphasized that the "wealth of material drawn from contemporary documents and records and the references … to secondary works on social and intellectual history constitute the major value of Jardine's work."
Jardine's collaboration with Anthony Grafton, From Humanism to Humanities: Education and the Liberal Arts in Fifteenth-and Sixteenth-Century Europe, questions the enduring impact of a classical education on students. American Historical Review contributor George Huppert explained that Jardine and Grafton "contend [that] classical education … produced docile subjects in Renaissance." Francis Oakley, writing in America, similarly stated that the authors identify "an enormous gap between the theoretical ideals trumpeted by … distinguished humanist educators" and those "so often taken at face value." Humanist contributor Lawrence W. Hyman commented that Jardine and Grafton "believe that literary training in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries had little effect on the character of its practitioners as it does today." Huppert concluded that the book is a "handy introduction to humanist classroom practices."
Jardine collaborated with Julia Swindells to write What's Left?: Women in Culture and the Labour Movement. Jardine and Swindells concentrate on twentieth-century Labour Party members' regard for women. Maria Marmo Mullaney, writing in the American Historical Review, insisted that Jardine and Swindells' "woman question" is the "major forgotten issue of contemporary socialist policies." Mullaney attested that Jardine and Swindells "show how women have not only been ignored but … humiliated in the political discourse of the Left," emphasizing that "as active members of the Labour party" Jardine and Swindells "aim to challenge the party's male dominated ideology." Angela McRobbie noted in New Statesmen and Society, that "the question of the place occupied by women in the huge literature which has sought to document working class life this century … is an important and long overdue area of study." Patricia Simpson, writing in Labor Studies Journal, claimed the book has "an exceptionally broad sweep" and that Jardine and Swindells "support their argument by textual analysis of the works of George Orwell, other socialist intellectuals, and early union leaders."
Returning to the Elizabethan Age, Jardine again visits the texts of William Shakespeare with Reading Shakespeare Historically. The "essays … discuss agency, especially female, both staged and recorded in domestic, social, legal, and political history of early modern England," observed Goran Stanivukovic in Sixteenth Century Journal. Stanivukovic called the work "a densely written book … written in a style devoid of theoretical jargon," and one that "brims with critical insights."
Jardine found her work the object of some debate when she published Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance. Although the book has had its share of criticism, Booklist reviewer Gilbert Taylor called it a "provocative work," which is "explicitly revisionist." Taylor commented on Jardine's "connection between money and art," which "give general readers a challengingly insightful view of the relationship." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly claimed Jardine writes with "critical intelligence and authority." The same reviewer asserted the author's "examination of exploration and commerce provides a window onto the times."
Jardine collaborated with Alan Stewart to write Hostage to Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon. Diarmaid MacCulloch, writing in the New Statesman and Society, described the book as a "curiously old-fashioned biography" of Francis Bacon. Spectator contributor Jonathan Sumption considered Hostage to Fortune an "excellent new biography" that "demonstrates [that] the rest of Bacon's life was every bit as unattractive as the circumstances of his departure from high office." Sumption contended that the book is "well-written" and "superbly researched," and Booklist contributor Bryce Christensen affirmed that the "author's aim is not to brand Bacon as a hypocrite but … to investigate … unresolved tensions in Bacon's brilliant yet deeply divided mind." Writing in Library Journal, Susan A. Stussy called the book an "unvarnished biography … with a new understanding of this complex character." A contributor to Publishers Weekly concluded that Jardine and Stewart "give readers a rollicking portrait" of "England's Renaissance man par excellence."
Using a broader point of view on Renaissance, Jardine wrote Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Method. Michael Hunter, writing in History Today, called the book "ambitious in scope" with the aim of "introduc[ing] the general reader to seventeenth century science." Hunter insisted that Jardine has "an enviable eye for telling detail, and the book is full of entertaining stories and effective characterizations of individuals and episodes." A contributor to Publishers Weekly called the book "a memorable account of cultural ferment and individual genius during the scientific revolution."
In On a Grander Scale: The Outstanding Life of Sir Christopher Wren, the author presents a look at the British architect's greatest achievements and provides a history of British scientific institutions of the day. Wren, who was also a scientist, inventor, and mathematician, took on such projects as the renovation of fifty-one churches destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666, and he served as the royal surveyor for five monarchs consecutively. He also designed St. Paul's Cathedral and a monument to the Great Fire. "The rich documentation … may dizzy the reader who is not intimate with 17th century prose style, but will astonish those who are," attested a Publishers Weekly contributor. Kristine Huntley described the book in Booklist as a "thorough, engaging biography."
Jardine turned to the life of British scientist Robert Hooke in The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man Who Measured London. Writing in History Today, Pa-tricia Fara described Hooke: "A restless, energetic man, Hooke was always searching out a new problem to solve, a new project to absorb his attention. Unfortunately for his posthumous reputation, his impressive skills included the art of making powerful enemies, most importantly Isaac Newton." Newton was not the only scientist that Hooke faced off with; he often contested others' theories and claims for inventions. Ultimately, many felt that Hooke dabbled in too many disciplines, thus failing to achieve the status of greatness attributed to scientists such as Newton and Copernicus. Writing in the World and I, Surekha Vijh commented that the author "brings great enthusiasm to this lucid biography, making a readable and thoroughly researched work." Vijh went on to note that the author's "lucid and easy-reading prose paints a vivid portrait of a curiously overlooked historical figure."
In Jardine's 2005 book, The Awful End of Prince William the Silent: The First Assassination of a Head of State with a Handgun, the author explores the up-close shooting of Prince William of Orange in 1584. Chosen in 1559 by the Emperor of Spain as the governor of the Low Countries, William eventually rebelled against Spanish Catholic tyranny and became a Protestant rebel, which led the Emperor to place a bounty on his head. Writing in the Spectator, Robert Stewart noted: "There is much that is good in it, about new handguns, their use in crime and warfare and their role as fashionable accessories … of the rich and proud; about the 'spinning' rife in Renaissance pamphlet wars; and about that age's wantonly cruel methods of torture and execution."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Jardine, Lisa A., Still Harping on Daughters: Women and Drama in the Age of Shakespeare, Barnes and Noble (Totowa, NJ), 1983.
America, November 18, 1989, Francis Oakley, review of From Humanism to Humanities: Education and the Liberal Arts in Fifteenth-and Sixteenth-Century Europe, p. 357.
American Historical Review, April, 1988, George Huppert, review of From Humanism to Humanities, p. 405; April, 1991, Marie Marmo Mullaney, review of What's Left?: Women in Culture and the Labour Movement, p. 524.
Booklist, November 1, 1996, Gilbert Taylor, review of Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance, p. 478; May 15, 1999, Bryce Christensen, review of Hostage to Freedom: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon, p. 1664; February 15, 2003, Kristine Huntley, review of On a Grander Scale: The Outstanding Life of Christopher Wren, p. 1027.
Bookseller, February 4, 2005, review of The Awful End of Prince William the Silent: The First Assassination of a Head of State with a Handgun, 36.
Economist, October 15, 1996, review of Worldly Goods, p. 56; September 30, 2000, review of Global Interests: Renaissance Art between East and West, p. 90.
English Historical Review, June, 2001, George Holmes, review of Global Interests, p. 714.
History Today, November, 1999, Michael Hunter, review of Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution, p. 52; June, 2004, Patricia Fara, review of London's Leonardo: The Life and Work of Robert Hooke, p. 56.
Humanist, July-August, 1987, Lawrence W. Hyman, review of From Humanism to Humanities, pp. 41-42.
Labor Studies Journal, fall, 1992, Patricia Simpson, review of What's Left?, pp. 84-85.
Library Journal, May 15, 1999, Susan A. Stussy, review of Hostage to Fortune, p. 102; November 1, 1999, Wade Lee, review of Ingenious Pursuits, p. 121.
New Statesman and Society, February 16, 1990, Angela McRobbie, "The Body Brigade," p. 32; March 27, 1998, Diarmaid MacCulloch, "Money Troubles," p. 49.
New York Review of Books, April 28, 1983, Frank Kermode, "Shakespeare for the Eighties," pp. 30-32; November 6, 1997, Ingrid D. Rowland, "The Renaissance Revealed," pp. 30-33; November 4, 1999, Quentin Skinner, "The Advancement of Francis Bacon," pp. 53-57.
Publishers Weekly, October 14, 1996, review of Worldly Goods, p. 69; April 26, 1999, review of Hostage to Fortune, p. 66; October 25, 1999, review of Ingenious Pursuits, p. 62; January 6, 2003, review of On a Grander Scale, p. 50.
Renaissance Quarterly, spring, 1988, Lauro Martines, "The Renaissance and the Birth of the Consumer Society," pp. 193-203.
Science, March 3, 2000, Steven Shapin, review of Ingenious Pursuits, p. 1598.
Seventeenth-Century News, fall, 1984, Tinsley Helton, review of Still Harping on Daughters: Women and Drama in the Age of Shakespeare, pp. 40-41.
Sixteenth Century Journal, fall, 1997, Goran Stanivukovic, review of Reading Shakespeare Historically, pp. 1008-1010.
Spectator, April 18, 1998, Jonathan Sumption, "The Special Charm of Failure," p. 36; May 14, 2005, Robert Stewart, review of The Awful End of William the Silent, p. 64,
Times Literary Supplement, October 15, 1999, John D. North, "Surface Tensions," p. 35.
World and I, November, 2004, Surekha Vijh, review of The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man who Measured London.
W.W. Norton, http://www.wwnorton.com/ (February 10, 2000), brief biography of Jardine.