Lisa Jardine (2)

We went yesterday to the memorial event for Lisa Jardine organised by the University of London and the staff of the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, which she founded, as well as Queen Mary where she spent so much of her academic career and University College where she and CELL recently migrated.   It felt as if there were a thousand people, all of whom had been touched or influenced in some particular and special way by her personality and teaching:  faculty, university adminstrators, former students, fellow researchers, Dutch scholars, each had admired her passionate intellectual enthusiasms, but also spoke invariably of the strength of her emotional support.  We all miss her.

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Lisa Jardine

I have just been listening to Peter Hennessy talk about the loss of Lisa Jardine on the Today programme.   I saw her for the last time on Friday.   It was unspeakably sad to see someone who was always so wonderfully and life enhancingly funny and ebullient with the life nearly completely drained away.   I sat with her and thought of all the many times I had seen her over the years:  how furious she was with me when she was not made a Trustee of the National Gallery;  how helpful she was when I was thinking of leaving the National Gallery;  sitting in the garden at home and her talking about her father.   Thinking also about her contributions to scholarship, her work on Francis Bacon, her biography of Wren and the Royal Society, on Anglo-Dutch cultural relations.   She was a force of nature.

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