Linda Colley was born in 1949 in Chester, England. She took her First Class B.A. Degree in History at Bristol in 1972, before gaining M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Cambridge University. She subsequently held a Research Fellowship at Girton College, Cambridge, and a joint Lectureship in history at Newnham and King’s Colleges, before becoming the first ever female Fellow at Christ’s College. Her career, outlook and ideas have been critically shaped however by moving between different continents and countries. From 1982 to 1998, she was attached to Yale University, ultimately becoming a University Professor in History there. From 1998 to 2003, she held a Research Chair and School Professorship at the London School of Economics. Since 2003, she has worked as Shelby M.C. Davis 1958 Professor of History at Princeton University. Travelling still further, she is also now a long-term Fellow in History at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in Uppsala.
She is also a Fellow of the British Academy, and she holds Honorary Degrees from Southbank University, Essex, East Anglia, Bristol and Hull Universities and Queen’s University Belfast. COVID permitting, her Oxford University Honorary Degree will be conferred this summer.