Dr Hazel Wilkinson

Dr Hazel Wilkinson

Department of English Literature
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I research the literary culture of the long eighteenth century, and my specialisms include eighteenth-century publications of renaissance poetry and drama, digital humanities, and the poetry of Alexander Pope.


  • BA (Hons) (Oxford)
  • MA (York)
  • PhD (UCL)


I am a Senior Lecturer in the English Department, specialising in eighteenth-century and early modern literature. I joined the University as a Birmingham Fellow in 2017. Before this I was a Junior Research Fellow in English Literature at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. I completed my PhD at University College London under the supervision of Professor Henry Woudhuysen. I also hold an MA in Renaissance Literature from the University of York, and a BA in English from the University of Oxford. 

I have held fellowships at the Huntington Library, California; the Library of Congress, Washington DC; the Library Company of Philadelphia; and the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford. I have previously held the Mark Samuels Lasner Fellowship in Printing History (2016), and the Katherine F. Pantzer Jr. Fellowship in Bibliography (2015). I was the winner of the 2016 Göttingen Dialog in Digital Humanities, and at the University of Cambridge I won a Vice Chancellor's Public Engagement with Research award (2016). 

From 2020–2022 I am Principal Investigator on the AHRC funded project 'Compositor: Recovering the Grammar of Ornament'. I am also a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute (2021–22).

I am on the Steering Committee of the Birmingham Eighteenth Century Centre, and I am a member of the Centre for Literary Editing and the Materiality of the Text.


I teach the second-year modules ‘Shakespeare’s Sisters’ and ‘Stories of the Novel’. 

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome enquiries from potential PhD students in the following areas: the literature and culture of the long eighteenth century; the history of the book; digital humanities; literary editing; poetry; renaissance literature; Edmund Spenser; Alexander Pope; reception studies.

Current supervision projects include the reception of Shakespeare in the eighteenth century.

Find out more - our PhD English Literature  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


I am interested in eighteenth-century literature and print culture; the reception of early modern literature; book history (particularly typography); and digital humanities. 

My first monograph, Edmund Spenser and the Eighteenth-Century Book (Cambridge, 2017) was a study of the eighteenth-century editions of the Elizabethan poet Edmund Spenser. It was the winner of the Isabel MacCaffrey Award for the best book on Spenser published in 2017 and 2018. 

I was awarded an AHRC Leadership Fellowship (2020–22), for my project 'Recovering The Grammar of Ornament'. The project is producing new research into ornamental type, to help us understand both what it meant to eighteenth-century readers, and how we can use it as bibliographical evidence. The project builds on my work on Compositor, a database of over 1 million eighteenth-century printers' ornaments that uses computer vision and machine learning. 

I am currently co-editing (with Marcus Walsh) Alexander Pope’s Ethic Epistles, for The Oxford Edition of the Writings of Alexander Pope. I am also writing a book-length study of the Spectator’s influence on British literary culture in the long eighteenth century.

Other activities

I am a member of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and the Bibliographical Society. I contribute book reviews to The Review of English Studies, Critical Quarterly, and the Times Literary Supplement.


Recent publications


Wilkinson, H 2017, Edmund Spenser and the Eighteenth-Century Book. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108185714


Wilkinson, H 2022, 'A new attribution to Benjamin Franklin', The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 146, no. 1, pp. 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1353/pmh.2022.0002

Wilkinson, H, Briggs, J & Gorissen, D 2021, 'Computer vision and the creation of a database of printers’ ornaments', Digital Humanities Quarterly, vol. 15, no. 1. <http://digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/15/1/000537/000537.html#>

Wilkinson, H 2019, 'The Voyage of Richard Castelman (1726): a new document for transatlantic literary studies', The Review of English Studies, vol. 70, no. 295, pp. 467–488. https://doi.org/10.1093/res/hgy096

Wilkinson, H 2016, 'Benjamin Franklin's London Printing, 1725-26', The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, vol. 110, no. 2, pp. 139-180. https://doi.org/10.1086/686722

Wilkinson, H 2016, 'The Parker Family: Scientific and Architectural Printers?', Notes and Queries, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 82-84. https://doi.org/10.1093/notesj/gjv256

Wilkinson, H 2013, 'Printers’ Flowers as Evidence in the Identification of Unknown Printers: Two Examples from 1715', The Library, 7th ser, vol. 14, pp. 70-79.


Wilkinson, H 2021, Appendix: the complete Spectator, 1712-1812: a bibliographical catalogue. in P Davis (ed.), Joseph Addison: Tercentenary Essays. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 329-410. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198814030.001.0001

Wilkinson, H 2021, The complete Spectator: a bibliographical history. in P Davis (ed.), Joesph Addison: Tercentenary Essays. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 182-211. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198814030.003.0010

Wilkinson, H 2019, Printer's ornaments and flowers. in A Smyth & D Duncan (eds), Book Parts. Oxford University Press.

Wilkinson, H 2016, Edmund Spenser and Coterie Culture in the Late Eighteenth Century. in WJ Bowers & H Crumme (eds), Re-evaluating the Literary Coterie 1580–1830: From Sidney to Blackwood's. Palgrave.

Data set/Database

Wilkinson, H, Compositor: A Database of Eighteenth-Century Printers' Ornaments, 2016, Data set/Database. <https://compositor.bham.ac.uk>

Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Wilkinson, H 2015, The Spenserian Revival. in G Day & J Lynch (eds), The Blackwell Encyclopedia of British Literature, 1660–1789. Wiley-Blackwell.

Other contribution

Wilkinson, H 2018, Image Extraction and ECCO: Rediscovering Decorated Books. Gale/Cengage Learning. <https://www.gale.com/binaries/content/assets/gale-us-en/primary-sources/intl-gps/intl-gps-essays/full-ghn-contextual-essays/gps_essay_ecco_wilkinson1_website.pdf>

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