Rachel Willie
My research covers seventeenth century literary history and culture. My first book, Staging the Revolution offers a reappraisal of the weight and volume of drama produced from 1647-1672, both in terms of live performances and performances on the paper stage. I drew from my interest in history as fiction to explore how drama was reinvented as a consequence of theatre closure and how it was also used to rewrite the English civil war and commonwealth. Much literature of the 1660s not only sought to present 1660 as a return to rightful governance, but also the start of a new age characterized by unprecedented developments within the arts and the sciences. My book challenged these assumptions (which have continued to underpin periodization) to show that, far from 1660 marking a watershed moment, late seventeenth-century England was intensely concerned with the continuing legacies of recent history and this is revealed in literature printed and disseminated in the period. While researching my book, I became intrigued by the number of anonymous scurrilous pamphlets that were ‘by the man in the moon’ and I have begun a wider study on ‘long seventeenth-century’ responses to the moon as an embodied and as a philosophical construct.

9780719087639I graduated with a BA (hons) in English Literature and Music from Roehampton University before undertaking an MA in English at King’s College London. In 2010, I received my PhD from the University of York. During my doctoral research, I gained an interest in material cultures and the relationship between literature and the epistemologies that underpin politics, religion and natural philosophy as well as continued interested in the relationship between literature and history. This gave rise to The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Early Modern England, which I co-edited with Kevin Killeen and Helen Smith, both based at the University of York. My research is interdisciplinary, working within literary and historical studies, as well as the application of some musicology when the methodologies are not incompatible with literary criticism. I have ongoing interests in early modern drama, cheap print, publicness, the early modern soundscape, history and cultural history, and the history of ideas.



Staging the Revolution: Drama, Reinvention and History, 1647-72 (Manchester University Press, 2015)

The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Early Modern England, c. 1530-1700, ed. Kevin Killeen, Helen Smith and Rachel Willie (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

‘Sacrificial Kings and Martyred Rebels: Charles and Rainborowe Beatified’, Etudes Epistémè special issue Poétique de la catastrophe? Représentations du régicide aux XVIe et XVIIe siècles en Europe, 20 (2011) http://episteme.revues.org/428

‘Spiritual Union and the Problem of Sexuality’, Milton Studies, 47 (2008), 168 -184

 Chapters in Edited Collections

‘Translation’ in The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Literature and Religion ed. Andrew Hiscock and Helen Wilcox, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming c. 2016)

‘“All scripture is given by inspiration of God”: Dissonance and Psalmody’ in The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Early Modern England c. 1530-1700 ed. Kevin Killeen, Helen Smith and Rachel Willie (Oxford: Oxford University Press, August 2015), 287-302

‘Viewing the Paper Stage: Civil War, Print, Theatre and the Public Sphere’ in Making Space Public in Early Modern Europe: Performance, Geography, Privacy ed. Angela Vanhaelen and Joseph Ward, (New York and London: Routledge, 2013), 54-75


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *