Dr Melanie Evans BA Hons, MA, PhD.

Dr Melanie Evans

Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics
Lecturer in English Language

Contact details

3 Elms Road
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I’m a researcher in the history of English, interested in sociolinguistics, stylistics, language and gender, language and power, and all things Tudor. Developing digital approaches to these fields are of particular interest.


  • BA (Hons) English Language and Literature, University of Sheffield
  • MA English Language and Literature, University of Sheffield
  • PhD ‘Aspects of the Idiolect of Queen Elizabeth I’, English Language and Linguistics, University of Sheffield.


Brought up in North Yorkshire, I spent my undergraduate and postgraduate years at the University of Sheffield. Via a brief sojourn to New Zealand, I’ve continued my southwards geographical trajectory, and began teaching at the University of Birmingham following my PhD in 2011. I became at Lecturer in 2012, and am now happily ensconced in the Midlands.


My teaching responsibilities include:

  • Undergraduate modules: ‘Language, Gender and Identity’, ‘Voices in Fiction’ and ‘History of English’
  • MA modules: ‘Language, Style and Identity’, ‘Language and Literature: Key Topics in Stylistics’

Please note I am on study leave during 2015-6.

Postgraduate supervision

I am presently supervising PhDs in the areas of: gender and political discourse; impoliteness in TV sitcoms; cohesion in Middle English literature; discourses on AIDS.

I would welcome any expressions of interest from potential PhD candidates in areas related to my research.


My research interests are primarily linked to the history of the English language, and exploring its development through sociolinguistic, stylistics and pragmatic lenses, combining both traditional and digital analytic approaches.

I am presently preparing a book for Cambridge University Press, entitled ‘Royal Voices: language and power in Early Modern English’, which explores the linguistic construction of Tudor authority across genres and the various monarchic regimes. I’m also involved in a new edition of the writings of Aphra Behn (led by Professor Elaine Hobby, Loughborough University; to be published by CUP), and am currently developing computational approaches to attribution analysis (working with Professor Hugh Craig, University of Newcastle, Australia).

Other activities

I’m a member of the Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA) and a proud participant of Early Modern Digital Agendas (EMDA2015) at the Folger Shakespeare Library. 



  • In Progress. Royal Voices: Language and Power in Early Modern England. Cambridge University Press. For publication in 2017.
  • 2013 The Language of Queen Elizabeth I: a sociolinguistic perspective on royal style and identity (Transactions of the Philological Society Monograph Series 45), Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell

Articles and Book Chapters

  • Forthcoming, ‘From ornament to armament: a stylistic analysis of two letters by Lady Elizabeth Tudor’, in Anita Auer (ed.), Linguistics and Literary History Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins
  • Forthcoming, ‘By the queen’: Collaborative authorship in scribal correspondence of Queen Elizabeth I’ in James Daybell and Andrew Gordon (eds) Women, Letters and the Rhetorics of Gender and Agency in Early Modern Britain, 1540-1690. Ashgate.
  • Forthcoming, ‘”The vsual speech of the Court”: investigating language change in the Tudor family network (1544-1556)’, Journal of Historical Sociolinguistics 1(2)
  • Forthcoming. ‘Royal Language and Reported Discourse in Sixteenth Century Correspondence’, Journal of Historical Pragmatics.
  • Forthcoming. 'Curating Language of the Past: Academic Research and Non-academic Audiences' In Gabriele Griffin and Matthew Hayler (eds.) Research Methods for Digitising and Curating Data in the Digital Humanities, Edinburgh University Press
  • 2012 'A Sociolinguistics of early modern spelling? A case study of Queen Elizabeth I', Tyrkko et al. (eds). Outposts of Historical Linguistics: from the Helsinki corpus to a proliferation of resources. VARIENG Volume 10. Helsinki <http://www.helsinki.fi/varieng/journal/volumes/10/evans>
  • 2011 ‘This Haunted House: Intertextuality and Interpretation in Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves (2000) and Poe’s Haunted (2000)’ in A. Gibson and J. Bray (eds.) Mark Z. Danielewski Contemporary American and Canadian Novelists (Manchester: Manchester University Press)