Conference Report: Early Modern Political Thought and Twenty-First Century Politics, 16th May 2018

Recently I was fortunate enough to attend an evening workshop at the Lit & Phil Library, Newcastle. The goal of the session was to explore what early-modern thinkers had to say on the themes of popular mobilisation, toleration, environmentalism and exile and what their insights might add to contemporary political discussions. The workshop was organised by Dr Rachel Hammersley, Senior Lecturer in Intellectual History at Newcastle University, as part of her British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship. The four speakers were John…

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IMEMS Fellowship: Exploring the manuscripts of the English Poor Clares

In 2007 Durham University Library was gifted the lion’s share of the library of the English Poor Clares. Consisting of 796 printed works and 74 manuscripts, the extensive collection contains what remains of the libraries of the four major English Poor Clare convents of the early seventeenth century: Gravelines, Dunkirk, Aire and Rouen. After returning to England during the French Revolution, the nuns settled at Haggerston Castle in Northumberland, then Scorton Hall in Yorkshire, and…

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Conference Report: Early Modern Orders and Disorders, 28th June- 30th June 2017

Last month I was lucky enough to present a paper at ‘Early Modern Orders and Disorders: Religious Orders and British and Irish Catholicism’. The conference was held at the University of Notre Dame London Global Gateway, a beautiful building right in the heart of London and moments away from Trafalgar Square. The event was well attended, with scholars from across the globe coming together to discuss the current state of Catholic studies and enjoy papers…

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Book Review: Jane Lead and her Transnational Legacy

Jane Lead and the Philadelphian Society are not particularly well known figures to most scholars of late 17th- and early 18th-century religion. Born in 1624, Lead experienced a spiritual awakening aged 16. On Christmas Day 1640, while her family danced and celebrated, she was overwhelmed with a ‘beam of Godly light’ and a gentle inner voice offering spiritual guidance. After the death of her husband in 1670 she received daily spiritual outpourings, finding comfort in…

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Book Review: Elizabeth Bouldin, Women Prophets and Radical Protestantism in the British Atlantic World, 1640–1730

Elizabeth Bouldin has written a lively, accessible and clear account of an often overlooked aspect of seventeenth-century religious history. Scholars interested in female visionary experience in England are often drawn to medieval figures such as Christina of Markyate, Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe, the Reformation visionary Elizabeth Barton, or modern figures such as Joanna Southcott. The major strength of Bouldin’s monograph is the way it illuminates the messages of lesser-known visionary women: Baptists such…

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