Dr Wendy Perkins BA, PhD

Department of Modern Languages
Honorary Senior Lecturer in French Studies

Contact details

Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Since I retired as a Senior Lecturer in the Department, I have been focusing on full-time research into the lives of women in seventeenth-century France. 


  • BA in French Language and Literature
  • PhD in French Literature


During my full-time career, I taught both language and literature across a wide range of centuries and topics. My main publication was Midwifery and Medicine in Early Modern France. Louise Bourgeois, which was short-listed for the Longman History Prize. Since retiring, I have continued to research, and I have given a number of papers, on the role of friendship in women’s lives in the seventeenth century, on certain aspects of their religious lives, and on their sexual relationships.


At present, I am completing a book entitled The Lives of Women in Seventeenth-Century France, which centres on the primary relationships of women in that period. Once this is finished, I shall move on to a monograph about the political lives of French women in that century, with particular reference to women’s activity in the Frondes. I have also started some work on the occurrence of mental instability within French families of the seventeenth century, looking especially at Richelieu, his sister and their descendants, both female and male.


  • Le Voyage de campagne de Mme de Murat’, Femmes et litterature:colloque des universities de Birmingham et de Besancon, A.W. Perkins, P. Baron, D.M. Wood co-editors, Paris, Besancon, Presses Universitaires franc-comtoises, 2003, pp. 209-223.
  • ‘The Spiritual Regeneration of the duchesse de Longueville’, Seventeenth-Century French Studies, 26, 2004, 97-106.
  • ‘Pauline de Grignan in the letters of Mme de Sevigne’, Seventeenth-Century French Studies, 27, 2005, 147-161.
  • ‘Women, Conversation and Silence’, Seventeenth-Century French Studies, 28, 2006, 205-220.