Participant Info

First Name
Erin A.
Last Name
National University of Ireland Galway
Website URL
early modern British literature, Shakespeare, Donne, poetry and poetics, women’s writing, bibliography and the history of the book, palaeography and manuscript studies, the history of reading, scholarly editing, digital humanities
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am a literary historian specializing in early modern British literature and the histories of reading and the book. I am currently a Postdoctoral Researcher on the European Research Council-funded project ‘RECIRC: The Reception and Circulation of Early Modern Women’s Writing, 1550–1700‘ at the National University of Ireland, Galway. My research for the project focuses on the transmission and reception of women’s writing in manuscript miscellanies. This research will culminate in a co-authored monograph with Marie-Louise Coolahan and Sajed Chowdhury, tentatively titled ‘The Reception and Circulation of Early Modern Women’s Writing in Manuscript Miscellanies, 1550–1700’.

I am also completing a book, ‘Print, Poetry, and the Reading Public in Early Modern England’, for Oxford University Press. The book examines the textual and intellectual apparatus publishers created when presenting lyric poetry to a new, largely unknown print audience. I present a series of readings that show how publishers negotiated genre, gender, social access, reputation, literary knowledge, and the value of English literature itself. Specifically, the book treats printed editions of poems by William Shakespeare, Aemilia Lanyer, John Donne, and others not as groups of associated poetic texts but as deliberately constructed material artifacts that invite some interpretations and preclude others. Furthermore, it attends to the physical features, organization, and textual editing of printed poetry books in order to consider how each medium creates meaning. Ultimately, I argue that although—or perhaps because—publishers’ critical and editorial efforts are often elided in studies of early modern poetry, their interventions have had an enduring impact on our canons, texts, and literary histories.

My next major project develops descriptive and analytical bibliographical methods for studying early modern English manuscripts. The Houghton Libraryhas generously funded the earliest stages of this work.

I am also interested in scholarly editing, paleography, digital and quantitative approaches, and data visualization.

Recent Publications


‘Print, Poetry, and the Reading Public in Early Modern England’. Under contract with Oxford University Press.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Reading Women Reading Donne in Manuscript and Printed Miscellanies: A Quantitative Approach’. Review of English Studies 69 (2018): 661–85.

Speculation and Multiple Dedications in Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum’. Studies in English Literature 1500–1900 55.1 (Winter 2015): 45–72.

Poems, by J.D. (1635) and the Creation of John Donne’s Literary Biography’. John Donne Journal 32 (2013): 57–85.

Book Reviews

Howsam, Leslie, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the History of the Book. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America110.3 (September 2016): 385–87.

Jackson Campbell Boswell and Gordon McMurry Braden. Petrarch’s English Laurels, 1475–1700. Farnham: Ashgate, 2012. The Library 15 (2014): 81–82.

Tom MacFaul. Poetry and Paternity in Renaissance England: Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne and Jonson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Early Modern Literary Studies 17.1 (2014).

Anne Lake Prescott, William A. Oram, and Andrew Escobedo, eds. Spenser Studies XXVI. New York: AMS, 2011. The Sixteenth Century Journal XLIV.3 (Fall 2013): 784–85.

Contributions to Digital Projects

Regular contributor to the RECIRC project blog, 2016–present.

Thirty-four entries (including ‘Sonnets, Q1: Shake-speares sonnets: Neuer before imprinted’; ‘Sonnets, Q1 variant: Shake-speares sonnets: Neuer before imprinted’; ‘Q2, Venus and Adonis’; ‘Q4, Venus and Adonis’), in Shakespeare Documented, ed. Heather Wolfe.

Guest post on Shakespeare in Ireland blog, 1 June 2016.

Contributor, Digital Cavendish, 2017 – present.

Contributor, John Donne Society Prose Project, 2014 – present.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Atlantic, United Kingdom, United States
Expertise by Chronology
Pre-17th century, 17th century, Early Modern
Expertise by Topic
Book History, Computational, Gender, Libraries & Archives, Material Culture, Women