I am DPhil Student at Balliol College, formerly the CEMS Research Co-Ordinator (2021-22).
My AHRC Funded project ‘Suing for Grace’: the Rhetoric of Early Modern Petition’ explores metaphors of petition in early modern English poetry. I am interested in how real petitionary letter writers exploited the overlapping meaning of petition as a letter of request and as a prayer of request when they petitioned secular powers, and the imaginative possibilities of this rhetoric in early modern poetry. My thesis includes a study of petitionary rhetoric in action, in two petitions by John Appelyard to the Privy Council, and three literary case studies: Edmund Spenser’s Amoretti; John Donne’s verse letters to his friends and patrons, and his Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions; and the circulation of the Jacobean verse libel ‘the Commons Petition to St Eliza’ in manuscript with other mock-petitions in verse.
Alongside my DPhil research, I have also written collaboratively with Dr Daniel Starza Smith on the correspondence of Elizabeth Bourne. We have two publications forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Women’s Writing and the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Early Modern Women’s Writing.
My general research interests include: petition; literature and the Reformation; manuscript circulation; epistolary culture; private libraries; John Donne.