Dr Gillian Wright BA MA MPhil PhD

Dr Gillian Wright

Department of English Literature
Senior Lecturer in English Literature

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a senior lecturer in English Literature. My research and teaching focus on literature from the early modern period, and in particular on poetry, women’s writing, and book history and editing.


  • BA, MA (Oxford)
  • MPhil, PhD (Glasgow)
  • PG Cert. in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Birmingham)


I joined Birmingham as a lecturer in 2005, and was appointed to a senior lecturership in 2010. Previously I held full-time research contracts at Nottingham Trent University (working on women’s manuscript compilations, 1500-1700) and St John’s College, Oxford (working on the historical sources for Samuel Daniel’s The Civil Wars). I have also held visiting fellowships at the Institute of English Studies, London, and the Newberry Library, Chicago.


I teach on a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules, including Songs and Sonnets and Shakespeare’s Tragedies (undergraduate) and Writing Revolutions 1, 1580-1700 (postgraduate).

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome applications relating to early modern English and Irish literature, and am especially interested in supervising Masters and doctoral projects on women’s writing (particularly Aphra Behn), Restoration poetry, and book history.


My principal research interest is in women’s writing in the early modern period. My monograph Producing Women’s Poetry, 1600-1730: Text and Paratext, Manuscript and Print was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013, while my co-edited anthology Early Modern Women's Manuscript Poetry (Manchester, 2005), won the Josephine Roberts Memorial prize in 2006. I am one of the general editors for the Cambridge edition of The Writings of Aphra Behn, for which I will also be editing Behn’s poetry. Other current projects include a monograph on Restoration poetry and articles on fable and allegory and on the historic ownership of female-authored books.

Other activities

I have recently presented papers on Spenser in the Restoration (International Spenser Conference, Dublin, June 2015) and on Restoration poetry and Ireland (Bangor University, July 2015).


Books and Journal issues

  • Katherine Philips: Form and Reception and Katherine Philips and Other Writers, ed. Marie-Louise Coolahan and Gillian Wright, special issues of Women’s Writing (in preparation)
  • Producing Women's Poetry, 1600-1730: Text and Paratext, Manuscript and Print (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
  • Chaplains in Early Modern England: Literature, Patronage and Religion, ed. Hugh Adlington, Tom Lockwood and Gillian Wright (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013)
  • Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Poetry, ed. Jill Seal Millman and Gillian Wright (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005).  

Articles and Chapters in Books

  • ‘Delight in Good Books: Family, Devotional Practice, and Textual Circulation in Sarah Savage’s Diaries’, Book History (in press).
  • ‘Women Poets and Men’s Sentences’, in Early Modern Women and the Poem, ed. Sue Wiseman (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014), pp.77-94
  • ‘Manuscript, Print, and Politics in Anne Finch's “Upon the Hurricane”’, Studies in Philology 111.3 (2014): 571-590.
  • 'The Birds and the Poet: Fable, Self-Representation and the Early Editing of Anne Finch's Poetry', The Review of English Studies 64 (264) (2013): 246-266.
  • ‘Daniel’s Holinshed’, in The Oxford Handbook of Holinshed’s Chronicles, ed. Ian Archer, Felicity Heal and Paulina Kewes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 559-574
  • ‘Textuality, Privacy and Politics: Katherine Philips's Poems Revisited’, in Material Readings of Early Modern Culture, 1580-1700, edited by James Daybell and Peter Hinds (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010), pp. 163-182
  • ‘Translating at Leisure’ and ‘Mary Sidney’, in TheOxford History of Literary Translation in English, vol. 2 (1550-1660), ed. Gordon Braden, Robert Cummings and Stuart Gillespie (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 58-67, 78-82
  • ‘Editing Perdita: Texts, Theories, Readers’, co-authored with Jonathan Gibson, in Women Editing Women, ed. Ann Hurley and Chanita Goodblatt (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009), pp. 155-73
  • ‘The Politics of Revision in Samuel Daniel’s The Civil Wars’, English Literary Renaissance 38.3 (2008): 461-482 
  • ‘Women Reading Epictetus’,  Women’s Writing 14.2 (2007): 321-337
  • ‘Piety and Sociability in Early Modern Women’s Devotional Letters’, co-authored with Mary Morrissey, Women’s Writing, 12.1 (2006):  44-59
  • ‘Epictetus in Eighteenth-Century Wales: Timothy Thomas’ Manuscript Translation of the Enchiridion’, Translation and Literature 14.1 (2005): 45-63
  • ‘What Daniel Really Did With The Pharsalia: The Civil Wars, Lucan and King James’, The Review of English Studies 55 (219) (2004): 210-232
  • ‘Samuel Daniel’s Use of Sources in The Civil Wars’, Studies in Philology 101.1 (2004): 59-87
  • ‘Whose Pastorals? William Browne of Tavistock and the Singing of Britannia’, in Archipelagic Identities: Literature and Identity in the Atlantic Archipelago, 1550-1800, ed. Simon Mealor and Philip Schwyzer (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 43-52
  • ‘Mary Evelyn and Devotional Practice’ in John Evelyn and His Milieu, ed. Frances Harris and Michael Hunter (London: The British Library, 2003), pp. 221-232
  • ‘The Molesworths and Arcadia: Italian Literature and Whig Constructions of Liberty, 1702-1728’, Forum of Modern Language Studies 39.2, special issue: Anglo-American and Irish Expatriate Communities in Italy, ed. Alison Chapman and Jane Stabler (2003): 122-135