Stephanie Appleton

Stephanie Appleton

Department of History
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: The community of Stratford-upon-Avon, c. 1530 – 1699: social networks, will-making, and the role of the town’s 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