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James Daybell

 

Staff card photograph

Professor James Daybell

  • Job title: Professor of Early Modern British History, School of Humanities and Performing Arts (Faculty of Arts & Humanities)
  • Postal address: Room 101, 4 Portland Villas, Drake Circus,
    Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8AA
  • Email: james.daybell@plymouth.ac.uk


Qualifications & background

Qualifications

BA (Oxon), MA, Ph.D, F.R. Hist S.

Education
 

Ph.D in History, 2000

University of Reading

Dissertation: “Women’s Letters and Letter-Writing in England, 1540-1603”

Supervisor: Prof. Ralph A. Houlbrooke


MA in History and Literature: “The English Renaissance: Politics, Patronage and Literature”

(Distinction), 1996

University of Reading

Thesis: “The Political Role of Upper-Class Women in Early Tudor England”


BA in Modern History, 1994

Hertford College, Oxford

Employment

2010-
Professor of Early Modern British History

2008-2010
Associate Professor, Reader in Early Modern British History

2006-2008
Lecturer in Early Modern History, University of Plymouth

2003-2006 
Assistant Professor in Medieval and Early Modern British and European History, Central Michigan University, USA

2000-2003
Research Fellow in History, University of Reading

 

Professional membership

Professional Memberships

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
Institute of Historical Research
Renaissance Society of America
Society for the Study of Early Modern Women
Women's History Network

 

 


Teaching interests
 

Early Modern British and European Political, Religious, Social and Cultural History

Gender and Women’s History

English Renaissance Literature

Undergraduate Modules Taught 

  • HIST144: What is History?
  • HIST 146: English History, 1640 to the Present
  • HIST 246: Tudor England
  • HIST 248: Education and Literacy in Early Modern Europe
  • HIST 301: Dissertation Supervision
  • HIST 302: Dissertation Supervision
  • HIST 350: Women and Politics in Early Modern England
  • HIST 352: The Family, Sex and Marriage in Early Modern England

Postgraduate Modules Taught

  • MASH 500: Historical Methods and Approaches
  • MASH 501: The Family, Sex and Society in Early Modern England
  • MRes and MA in Social History Dissertation Supervision
 

Staff serving as external examiners
 
External Ph.D Examiner for the University of London and Oxford University. 


Research interests
 
Early modern British social and cultural history; women and gender; Renaissance Literature  

UoP Research group membership

Centre for Humanities, Music and Performing Arts Research (HuMPA) 
History 

Other research

 
I am currently completing two book-related projects, the first of which is a monograph length study, entitled, The Material Letter: Manuscript Letters and the Culture and Practice of Letter-Writing in Early Modern England, 1580-1635 (Forthcoming, Palgrave). This study represents the first major socio-cultural study of manuscript letters and the cultural practices associated with letter-writing in early modern England. Concentrating on the years 1580-1635, it examines a crucial period in the development of the English vernacular letter, one that witnessed a significant extension of epistolary skills within society and an expansion in the range of uses to which letters were put. Moreover, central is the assertion that the full range of meanings generated by early modern letters can only be unlocked through ‘material’ as well as textual and historical readings. The book, therefore, focuses attention not only on the materiality of letters themselves, in other words, the significance of the physical characteristics of manuscript letters (paper, seals, ink, watermarks and manuscript space) but also on the social materiality of letters, that is the social and cultural practices of letters and the contexts of letter-writing. 

    The second related project is a collection of essays that I am editing (with Peter Hinds), entitled, Material Readings of Early Modern Culture, 1580-1700 (Forthcoming, Palgrave). This book explores the significance of the physicality of manuscripts and printed texts in the early modern period. By comprehensively focussing on the material aspects and surrounding social practices of texts as a new and valuable way of reading and decoding meaning which complements and augments analyses of content, it aims to provide a thorough reassessment of the intrinsic natures of and developing relationships between cultures of manuscript and print from the late sixteenth century through to 1700. Avowedly interdisciplinary in approach, a central purpose of the book is to foster vigorous dialogues between print and manuscript studies, critical bibliography, codicology and history of the book, palaeography and diplomatics, and social and cultural history. As the first book of this nature to bring together material readings of manuscript, print and orality in early modern culture it makes a significant contribution to the ways in which we read, interpret and situate texts.

 

Research degrees awarded to supervised students
PhD Supervision

Ian Cooper, ‘Networks, News and Communication: Political Elites and Community Relations in Elizabethan Devon’ (AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in collaboration with Devon Record Office)

Bruna Gushurst-Moore, 'A Garden in Her Cup: Anglo-American Household Medicine, 1550-1800' (University of Plymouth Studentship)

 

Grants & contracts
 

Fellowships

 

The Francis Bacon Research Fellowship, Huntington Library, San Marino, California, 2004


Short-Term Fellowship, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., 2000


Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Department of History, University of Reading, 2000-2003


Doctoral Research Scholarship, Department of History, University of Reading, 1996-1999

 

Prizes

 

Winner of The Society for the Study of Early Modern Women award for best collaborative project, 2002 for Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing, 1450-1700 (Palgrave 2001)


Winner of the Allen D. Breck Award of the Rocky Mountains Medieval and Renaissance Association for best junior scholar, 1999


Research Grants


British Conference Grant, British Academy, 2007-2008

Overeas Conference Grant, British Academy, 2007-2008

Faculty of Arts Research Grants, University of Plymouth, 2008

Conference Grant, Royal Historical Society, 2007-2008

Faculty of Arts Research Grants, University of Plymouth, 2007

Faculty of Arts Research Grants, University of Plymouth, 2006

Faculty Research and Creative Endeavor Research Grant, Central Michigan University, 2006

Summer Scholars Award, College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences, Central Michigan University, Summer 2005.


Faculty Research and Creative Endeavor Research Grant, Central Michigan University, 2004


Alternative Assignment Research Award, College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences, Central Michigan University, Spring Semester 2004


Research Grant, University of Reading Research Board, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002


Research Grant, University of Reading Department of History Research Fund, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002


Grant for Organizing International Conference, British Academy, 2001


Conference Grant, Royal Historical Society, 2001


Conference Grant, University of Reading, 2001


Sir Frank Stenton Research Grant, University of Reading, 1997

 

 


Publications
Books

Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing, 1450-1700, ed. James Daybell (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001) (Winner of The Society for the Study of Early Modern Women award for best collaborative project, 2002)

Women and Politics in Early Modern England
, ed. James Daybell (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004)

Women Letter-Writers in Tudor England
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)

The Material Letter: Manuscript Letters and the Culture and Practices of Letter-Writing in Early Modern England, 1580-1635
 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2012)

Material Readings of Early Modern Culture, 1580-1730: Texts and Social Practices
, ed. James Daybell and Peter Hinds (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010)
 

Journal Special Edition on ‘New Directions in the Study of Early Modern Letters’, Lives and Letters, 4/1 (2012) (http://journal.xmera.org/volume-4-no-1-autumn-2012)

Book Chapters

“Introduction” in Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing, 1450-1700, ed. James Daybell (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), 1-15

“Female Literacy and the Social Conventions of Women’s Letter-Writing in England, 1540-1603,” in Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing, 1450-1700, ed. James Daybell (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), 59-76

“Introduction” in Women and Politics in Early Modern England, ed. James Daybell (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), 1-20

“‘Suche newes as on the Quenes hye wayes we have mett:’ The News Networks of Elizabeth Talbot, countess of Shrewsbury (c.1527-1608),” in Women and Politics in Early Modern England, ed. James Daybell (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), 114-31.

“‘I wold wyshe my doings myght be ... secret’: Privacy and the Social Practices of Reading Women’s Letters in Sixteenth-Century England,” in Form and Persuasion in Women’s Letters, 1400-1700, eds Ann Crabbe and Jane Couchman (Aldershot: Ashgate, November 2005)

“The Rhetoric of Friendship in Sixteenth-Century Women’s Letters of Intercession”, in Rhetoric, Gender, Politics: Representing Early Modern Women’s Speech, ed. Judith Richards and Alison Thorne (In Press; London: Routledge, 2006)

'Women's Letters' in Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Women’s Writing, ed. Laura Knoppers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)

‘Women, politics and domesticity: the scribal publication of Lady Rich’s letter to Elizabeth I’, in Women as Scribes and the Domestication of Print Culture, eds. Anne Lawrence-Mathers and Phillipa Hardman (In Press, Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2010)

(with Peter Hinds) ‘Introduction: Material Matters’, in Material Readings of Early Modern Culture: Texts and Social Practices, 1580-1730, ed. James Daybell and Peter Hinds (Forthcoming, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010)

‘Secret Letters in early Modern England’, in Material Readings of Early Modern Culture: Texts and Social Practices, 1580-1730, ed. James Daybell and Peter Hinds (Forthcoming, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010)

‘Women, News and Intelligence Networks in Elizabethan England’, in Diplomacy and Early Modern Culture eds. R.J. Adams & R. Cox (Forthcoming, Basingstoke: Palgrave)

‘Medieval Women’s Letters, 1350-1500’, in Diane Watt ed., The History of British Women’s Writing: Volume 1, 1350-1500 (Forthcoming, Basingstoke: Palgrave)

 

Articles in Journals 

“Women’s Letters and Letter-Writing in England, 1540-1603: An Introduction to the Issues of Authorship and Construction,” Shakespeare Studies, 27 (1999), 161-86.

“‘Ples acsep thes my skrybled lynes:’ The Construction and Conventions of Women’s Letters in England, 1540-1603,” Quidditas: The Journal of the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association, 20 (1999), 123-40 (Winner of the Allen D. Breck Award of the Rocky Mountains Medieval and Renaissance Association).

“Recent Studies in Sixteenth-Century Letters”, English Literary Renaissance, 35/2 (Spring 2005), 331-62.

“Recent Studies in Seventeenth-Century Letters”, English Literary Renaissance (2006)

“Elizabeth Bourne (fl. 1570s-1580s): A New Elizabethan Woman Poet”, Notes and Queries, 250, n.s. 52/2 (June 2005), 176-78.

“Interpreting Letters and Reading Script: Evidence for Female Education and Literacy in Tudor England” History of Education (November 2005)

“Scripting a Female Voice: Women’s Epistolary Rhetoric in Sixteenth-Century Letters of Petition”, Women’s Writing (2006)

‘Material Meanings and the Social Signs of Manuscript Letters in Early Modern England’, Literature Compass (2009)

‘Women’s Letters, Literature and Conscience in Elizabethan England’, Renaissance Studies (2009)

‘Gender, Obedience and Authority in Sixteenth-Century Women’s Letters’, Sixteenth Century Journal, XI/I (2010), 67-86 

(with Andrew Gordon) ‘New Directions in the Study of Early Modern Correspondence’, Journal Special Edition on ‘New Directions in the Study of Early Modern Letters’, Lives and Letters, 4/1 (2012) (http://journal.xmera.org/volume-4-no-1-autumn-2012/articles/editorial.pdf

(with Andrew Gordon) ‘Select Bibliography: The Manuscript Letter in Early Modern England’, Journal Special Edition on ‘New Directions in the Study of Early Modern Letters’, Lives and Letters, 4/1 (2012) (http://journal.xmera.org/volume-4-no-1-autumn-2012/articles/bibliography.pdf)


Reference Work Entries


“Lists of New Year’s Gifts Given and Received by Henry VIII, 1539, and Elizabeth I, 1585 (Folger MSS Z.d.11 and Z.d.16),” in The Pen’s Excellencie: Manuscript Treasures at the Folger Shakespeare Library, A Festschrift on the Retirement of Laetitia Yeandle, ed. Heather Wolfe (Washington, DC: Folger Shakespeare Library, 2002)
 
“Henry VIII’s Sign Manual,” in The Pen’s Excellencie: Manuscript Treasures at the Folger Shakespeare Library, A Festschrift on the Retirement of Laetitia Yeandle, ed. Heather Wolfe (Washington, DC: Folger Shakespeare Library, 2002)

“A Letter of Lady Elizabeth Cavendish to her Servant Francis Whitfield,” Reading Early Modern Women: An Anthology of Texts in Manuscript and Print, 1550-1700, ed. Helen Ostovich, Elizabeth Sauer and Melissa Smith (London: Routledge, 2003).

“Baskerville, Sir Thomas,” in Oxford Dictionary Of National Biography (Oxford UP, 2004).

“Hungerford, Agnes Lady,” in Oxford Dictionary Of National Biography (Oxford UP, 2004)

‘What role did Tudor-Stuart Women Play in Dynastic Politics?’ (ABC-CLIO)

'Women, Politics and Power in Early Modern England' (ABC-CLIO)

‘Richard I: good Soldier, but bad King?’ (ABC-CLIO, 2008) 

‘The Rise of Medieval Universities’ (ABC-CLIO, 2008) 

‘The Fourth Crusade’ (ABC-CLIO, 2008) 

‘Was there a real King Arthur?’ (ABC-CLIO, 2009) 

‘What was the significance of the twelfth-century Renaissance?’ (ABC-CLIO, 2009)

Academic Reviews 

Review of Shakespeare’s Letters. By Alan Stewart. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. ISBN: 9870199549276, £25, in English: The Journal of the English Association (2009) 

Review of ‘Custome Is an Idiot:’ Jacobean Pamphlet Literature on Women, edited by Susan Gushee O’Malley (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004; pp. xiv + 316; $49.95; pb. $21.95) in History of Education Quarterly (2005). 

Review of Hilda L. Smith, All Men and Both Sexes: Gender, Politics and the False Universal in England, 1640-1832 (University Park, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002), in Albion (2005) 

Review of Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Writing: Selected Papers from the Trinity/Trent Colloquium edited Victoria E. Burke and Jonathan Gibson (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), in English Historical Review (January 2005) 

Review of Brown, Pamela Allen, Better a Shrew than a Sheep: Women, Drama, and the Culture of Jest in Early Modern England (Ithaca, NY: Cornell U.P., 2003; pp. xiv + 263. £31.50; pb. £12.50), in English Historical Review (September 2004) 

Review of Mendelson, S., and Crawford, P., Women in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999), in Journal of Early Modern History (2002) 

Review of Kamen, Henry, Who’s Who in Europe, 1450-1750 (London: Routledge, 2001, paperback edition), in Reading Journal of Medieval History (2003)

 

Reports & invited lectures

'Materiality of Early Modern Women's Letters’, Annual Conference of the Renaissance Society of America, Venice, April 2010

'Material Meanings and the Social Signs of Manuscript Letters in Early Modern England',
University of Hull, February 2010

'The Circulation of Lady Rich’s Letter to Elizabeth I', University of Hull, Medieval and Early Modern Research Seminar, February 2010

‘The Materiality of Early Modern Letters’, Texts and Social Relations, University of Reading, April 2009

‘The Politics of Manuscript Circulation: Lady Rich’s Letter to Queen Elizabeth’, The F-Word Symposium, University of Plymouth, February 2009

‘Early Modern Letter-books and the Afterlife of Correspondence’, Annual Conference of the British Society of Eighteenth Century Studies, St Hugh’s College, Oxford, January 2009

‘Politics and Domesticity: Lady Rich’s Letter to Queen Elizabeth’, Director’s Research Seminar, AHRC Centre of Editing Lives and Letters, Queen Mary, University of London, December 2008

‘Women and politics in early modern England’, Political Women, 1500-1900, International conference, November 12-14, 2008 in Umeå Sweden

'The manuscript circulation of Lady Rich’s letter to Elizabeth I’, Annual Conference of the Renaissance Society of America, LA (March 2009)

‘Women, politics and domesticity: the scribal publication of Lady Rich’s letter to Elizabeth I’,

Political Women, 1500-1900, International conference, November 12-14, 2008 in Umeå Sweden

'Secret Letters in Elizabethan England', Material Readings of Early Modern Culture, 1580-1700, International Conference organised at University of Plymouth (April 2008)

‘Secret Letters in Early Modern England’,
Annual Conference of the Renaissance Society of America, Chicago (April 2008)

‘Women’s Letters, Literature and Conscience in Sixteenth-Century England’, Oxford University Early Modern History Seminar (February 2008)

‘Material Readings of Early Modern Culture’, University of Reading (February 2008)

‘Loyalty, Obedience and Authority in Sixteenth-Century Women’s Letters’, Loyalties and Allegiances Workshop, University of Liverpool (February 2006)

‘Loyalty, Obedience and Authority in Sixteenth-Century Women’s Letters’,
Delivered to Department of History Research Seminar, University of Plymouth (January 2007) and Colloquium for the Retirement of Professor Ralph Houlbrooke, University of Reading (May 2007)

‘Tudor Women’s Education and Literacy’,
Strathclyde University (October 2005)

‘Sixteenth Century Women’s Letters of Petition: The Problem of Persuasion’, Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, Toronto (October 2004)

‘Reading Women’s Letters’, Delivered to the Central Michigan University Phi Alpha Theta History Fraternity (October 2003)

‘The Manuscript Transmission of News in Early Modern Women’s Letters’, Annual Conference of the Rocky Mountains Medieval and Renaissance Society, Colorado Springs (April 2003)

‘Women and Material Culture in Early Modern England’,
Renaissance Society of America, Scottsdale, Arizona (April 2002)

‘‘Suche newes as on the Quenes hye wayes we have mett:’ The News and Intelligence Networks of Elizabeth Talbot, countess of Shrewsbury (c.1527-1608)’,
Rethinking Women and Politics in Early Modern England, University of Reading (July 2001)

‘‘Suche newes as on the Quenes hye wayes we have mett:’ The News and Intelligence Networks of Elizabeth Talbot, countess of Shrewsbury (c.1527-1608)’, Department of English and Center for Renaissance and Baroque Studies, University of Maryland, College Park (October 2001)

‘‘I wold wyshe that my doings myght be a secret:’ Reading Practices and Women’s Letters in Sixteenth-Century England’,
Renaissance MS: Early Modern Women’s Reading Practices, St Hilda’s College, Oxford (March 2001)

The Culture of Women’s Letter-Writing in Early Modern England’, Stenton Lecture Workshop, University of Reading (November 2000)

‘Gender, Patronage and Modes of Access: Women’s Letters of Petition in England, 1540-1603’,
North American British Studies Conference, Boston (November 1999)

‘Personal and Introspective Uses of Women’s Letters in Sixteenth-Century England’, Women Writers in Renaissance England, Vassar College (November 1999)

‘Women’s Letters of Petition in England, 1540-1603: Reading, Reception and Modes of Access’,
Institute of Historical Research, Early Modern British Seminar (June 1999)

‘Women’s Letters of Petition in England, 1540-1603: Reading, Reception and Modes of Access’,
University of Reading, Research Seminar (November 1998)

‘Women’s Letters of Petition in Sixteenth-Century England’,
Oxford University, Early Modern Seminar (November 1998)

‘‘Ples acsep thes my skrybled lynes:’ The Construction and Conventions of Women’s Letters in England, 1540-1603’,
Annual Conference, Rocky Mountains Medieval and Renaissance Association, Big Sky, Montana (May 1998)

‘The Construction and Conventions of Women’s Letters in England, 1540-1603’, Annual Conference, Renaissance Society of America, Florence (March 2000)

‘The Construction and Conventions of Women’s Letters in England, 1540-1603’,
Modes of Persuasion: The Fourth Triennial International Renaissance Conference, University of Reading (July 1998)

‘The Mechanics of Women’s Letter-Writing in Sixteenth-Century England’, University of Reading, Early Modern Histories and Texts Seminar (May 1998)

‘Women’s Letters and Letter-Writing in England, 1540-1603’,
University of Kent, Early Modern History and Literature Seminar (November 1998)

‘Gender and Conformity in Early Tudor England: The Case of Gertrude, Marchioness of Exeter’

Society and Conformity: The Limits of Toleration, University of Reading (July 1996)

 

Conferences organised
Cultures of Correspondence in Early Modern Britain, 1580-1640, University of Plymouth (14-16 April 2011)

Material Readings of Early Modern Culture, 1580-1700, University of Plymouth (2008)
 
Rethinking Women and Politics in Early Modern England, University of Reading (2001)

New Perspectives on Patronage in Mid- and Late-Tudor England
, panel at the Annual Conference of North American British Studies, Boston (1999)

Privy and Powerful Communications: Women’s Letters and Letter-Writing in Early Modern England
, University of Reading (1998)

Society and Conformity: The Limits of Toleration
, University of Reading (1996) 


Other academic activities
I am the series editor of the Ashgate book series Material Readings in Early Modern Culture (along with Adam Smyth of Birkbeck College, University of London): 
http://www.ashgate.com/Default.aspx?page=4028


Reader of academic manuscripts for Oxford University Press, Ashgate, Palgrave, Renaissance Studies and Journal of Accounting, Business and Financial History.

Book reviewer for journals such as Archives, English Historical Review, History of Education Quarterly, Journal of Early Modern History, Journal of British Studies, Shakespeare Studies and Reading Journal of Medieval History.

External referee for International Research Councils: the Marsden Fund (New Zealand), University of Toronto Fellowship Awards, and the National Research Council of Canada.


Guest Speaker on BBC Radio, August 2007