Stephanie Appleton

Stephanie Appleton

Department of History
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: The community of Stratford-upon-Avon, c. 1530 – 1650: social networks, will-making, and the role of women
SupervisorDr Tara Hamling and Professor Richard Cust
PhD Modern History


Stephanie is a doctoral researcher in the University of Birmingham's History department, funded by a School of History and Cultures Scholarship. She completed her MA in Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cultural History of Renaissance England at The Shakespeare Institute (University of Birmingham) in 2009, graduating with distinction, and graduated from the University of Hull in 2006 with a BA (Hons) in English Literature. Her thesis explores the community networks of early modern Stratford-upon-Avon through evidence drawn from such sources as probate records, parish registers, property title deeds, and material culture. A particular focus of her work is the position of women in this bustling market town during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: their economic roles; the nature and quality of their social networks; patterns of inheritance and testamentary provision; their status as widows, wives or spinsters; and their experience of everyday life.

Stephanie’s other interests in terms of the early modern period are: wills and testamentary provision; affect and friendship; material culture; birth, marriage and death; the experience of privacy and domesticity, and much more besides! She is a proficient palaeographer, and loves working with early modern documents.

Other research projects with which Stephanie is involved include the ‘Shakespeare’s World in 100 Objects’ blog, of which she is a co-founder and contributor. The blog, which introduces items from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's museum collection in relation to the plays and life of William Shakespeare, can be found at

Stephanie is also the College of Arts and Law’s inaugural Westmere Scholar for 2015-16, and more details can be found at: