Early modern to eighteenth-century

Group members

Tamsin Badcoe

Tamsin works on the intersection of poetic and devotional forms with early modern spatial and textual practices, including those of cosmography, chorography, geography, and navigation. She is interested in the literary representation of early modern environments, specifically coastlines, wetlands, and islands, and the ship at sea. She also has expertise on the popularity of poetry in print during the early modern period.

Mary Bateman

Mary works on the continuities between the medieval and the early modern, especially in relation to the Arthurian tradition, antiquarianism and approaches to the past, book history, and romance literature. Her forthcoming book investigates premodern experiences of Arthurian places, and the role that such places had to play in the project to defend Arthur’s historicity.

Jennifer Batt

Jennifer works on 18th-century literature and literary culture, especially poetry, newspapers and magazines, labouring-class writing, and women’s writing (with a focus on Aphra Behn and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu). She also has research interests in book history and reception history and in the the history and practice of printing, and is the co-founder and co-director of Bristol Common Press.

Steve De Hailes

Steve’sresearch centres on the liminal and otherworldly landscapes found in medieval and early modern literature. He is particularly interested in the role that highland topographies (hills, plateaus, mountains, cliffs, valleys) play in the medieval and early modern imagination, and in the otherworldly creatures and entities who appear in mountainous and similarly-liminal landscapes throughout this period.

Ian Calvert

Ian’s research focuses on 17th- and 18th-century literature, especially Dryden and Pope. He is particularly interested in epic poetry, translation, classical reception, and allusion and intertextuality, and he is increasingly involved in textual editing, specifically through the new edition of Pope’s translations of Homer to be published by Oxford University Press.

Stephanie Codsi

Stephanieworks on British radical literature of the 1790s, looking at the relationship between sincerity and surveillance. She has a BA/Leverhulme small grant for a project entitled Spies, Suspicion and Sincerity in British Radical Literature 1790-1804, which is being developed into a book with Edinburgh University Press (forthcoming 2026). She also published an article and chapter on William Blake, and more broadly on Romantic and Gothic literature.

Lesel Dawson

Lesel's research focuses on early modern literature, gender and the history of emotions. She have written on grief, shame, disgust, trauma, menstruation, cruentation, trauma and hallucinations, and she is the author of Lovesickness and Gender in Early Modern English Literature and the co-editor of Revenge and Gender in Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Literature

Edward Holberton

Edward’s research interests are in literature of the Civil War and Restoration periods, especially the work of Andrew Marvell and John Milton, and more broadly, early modern literature’s relationships with diplomacy, empire, and the Atlantic World. He has often written about poetry, but also has an interest in material texts. 

Deborah Lam

Deborah’s interest in this period centres on a project that will examine the ethics of ekphrasis and the ontological extractivism of art writing about stolen antiquities in the long 18th century from Restoration to Romanticism. Her broader, continuing research looks at 18th-century art, as well as British and German philosophy.

John Lee

John works on English Renaissance drama and English Renaissance and Early-Modern poetry in general, with particular interests in Spenser, Shakespeare, Jonson, and Milton. He also has interests in the French philosopher Michel de Montaigne. His research interests include subjectivity and self; the body and its theoretical descriptions; literary theory; and rhetoric.

John McTague

John works on Restoration and early 18th-century literary, political, and news cultures, hoxes and conspiracies, and the history of historiography (particularly forms of historical writing outside of the neo-classical mode i.e. pamphlets, broadsides, periodicals, newsletters). He pursues interests in history of the book and print cultures via desk-based and practice-led research. Authors of particular interest include Swift, Pope, Defoe, and Behn. 

Laurence Publicover

Laurence works on literature of the 16th and 17th century, with a particular interest in English Renaissance drama (Shakespeare, Marlowe, Middleton, Webster) and in tragedy and theories of tragedy. His secondary interest, which sometimes takes him beyond the early modern period, is in human relations with the ocean – in particular, oceanic voyages, shipboard spaces, and the seabed.

Ad Putter

Ad is usually a scholar of the medieval period but has recently been reaching into the early modern period through his Anglo-Dutch relations project. His ‘North Sea Crossings’ book also covered Anglo-Dutch relations in the early modern period, and his latest book (with Shannon McSheffrey) is on the Dutch Hatmakers of Late Medieval and Tudor London. Future projects include a study of a Tudor Interlude and a chapter on Anglo-Dutch relations on Antwerp and London as multilingual contact zones in the period up to 1550.

Matthew Steggle

Matthew works on 16th- and 17th- century English literature, in particular drama and theatre history. Authors of particular interest include Shakespeare, Jonson, Marston, and Caroline playwright. He is co-general editor of The Oxford Works of John Marston and co-editor of the Lost Plays Database. He is also interested in “historical phenomenology” and in the digital humanities.

Sebastiaan Verweij

Sebastiaan’s research interests are in late-medieval and early modern literature and 'the history of the book'; Scottish literature; the digital and spatial humanities, and the works of John Donne. He is especially busy with two current projects: the ‘Literatures of Older Scotland Database (LOSD)’ (with Steven Reid and Sìm Innes); and a new book project, ‘Place and Poetry in Pre-Modern Scotland’.

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