Dr Gillian Wright BA MA MPhil PhD

Photograph of Dr Gillian Wright

Department of English Literature
Reader in English and Irish Literature

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a Reader in English and Irish Literature. My research and teaching focus on literature from the early modern period, and in particular on poetry, women’s writing, and book history and editing. I am a General Editor on the AHRC-funded Cambridge edition of The Works of Aphra Behn, for which I am editing Behn’s poetry. I also teach contemporary Irish fiction. 


  • BA, MA (Oxford)
  • MPhil, PhD (Glasgow)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Birmingham)


I joined Birmingham as a lecturer in 2005, and was appointed to a senior lectureship in 2010 and a readership in 2017. Previously I held full-time research contracts at Nottingham Trent University and St John’s College, Oxford. I have also held visiting fellowships at the Institute of English Studies, London, and the Newberry Library, Chicago.


My current and recent undergraduate teaching includes the modules Writing the Restoration, Shakespeare’s Sisters, and Gender and Irish Fiction. I also contribute to MA modules on early modern literature.

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome applications relating to early modern English and Irish literature, and am especially interested in supervising Masters and doctoral projects on women’s writing (particularly Aphra Behn), Restoration poetry, and book history.

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


My principal research interest is in women’s writing in the early modern period. My monograph Producing Women’s Poetry, 1600-1730: Text and Paratext, Manuscript and Print was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013, while Early Modern Women's Manuscript Poetry, which I co-edited with Jill Seal Millman(Manchester, 2005), won the Josephine Roberts Memorial prize in 2006. I am one of the general editors of the new Cambridge edition of The Works of Aphra Behn, for which I am also editing Behn’s poetry. Other current projects include a monograph on Restoration poetry and articles on Mary Sidney, Aphra Behn, and Roger Boyle, earl of Orrery.

Other activities

I am one of two deputy directors for the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, and am also one of the University’s Site Directors for the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership. 


Books and journal issues

  • Katherine Philips: Form, Reception and Literary Contexts, ed. by Marie-Louise Coolahan and Gillian Wright (London: Routledge, 2018)
  • Producing Women's Poetry, 1600-1730: Text and Paratext, Manuscript and Print (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013)
  • Chaplains in Early Modern England: Literature, Patronage and Religion, ed. by Hugh Adlington, Tom Lockwood and Gillian Wright (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013)
  • Early Modern Women’s Manuscript Poetry, ed. by Jill Seal Millman and Gillian Wright (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005)

Articles and chapters in books

  • ‘Fable and Allegory’, in The Oxford Handbook of Eighteenth-Century Satire, ed. by Paddy Bullard (forthcoming)
  • ‘A Computational Approach to the Poetry of Katherine Philips’, co-authored with Kathleen Taylor, Women’s Writing, 24.3 (2017), 353-381
  • ‘Delight in Good Books: Family, Devotional Practice, and Textual Circulation in Sarah Savage’s Diaries’, Book History, 18 (2015), 48-74
  • ‘Women Poets and Men’s Sentences’, in Early Modern Women and the Poem, ed. by Sue Wiseman (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014), pp. 77-94
  • ‘Manuscript, Print, and Politics in Anne Finch's “Upon the Hurricane”’, Studies in Philology, 111.3 (2014), 571-590
  • 'The Birds and the Poet: Fable, Self-Representation and the Early Editing of Anne Finch's Poetry', The Review of English Studies, 64 (264) (2013), 246-266
  • ‘Daniel’s Holinshed’, in The Oxford Handbook of Holinshed’s Chronicles, ed. by Ian Archer, Felicity Heal and Paulina Kewes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 559-574
  • ‘Textuality, Privacy and Politics: Katherine Philips's Poems Revisited’, in Material Readings of Early Modern Culture, 1580-1700, ed. by James Daybell and Peter Hinds (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010), pp. 163-182
  • ‘Translating at Leisure’ and ‘Mary Sidney’, in The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, vol. 2 (1550-1660), ed. by Gordon Braden, Robert Cummings and Stuart Gillespie (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 58-67, 78-82
  • ‘Editing Perdita: Texts, Theories, Readers’, co-authored with Jonathan Gibson, in Women Editing Women, ed. by Ann Hurley and Chanita Goodblatt (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009), pp. 155-173
  • ‘The Politics of Revision in Samuel Daniel’s The Civil Wars’, English Literary Renaissance, 38.3 (2008), 461-482
  • ‘Women Reading Epictetus’, Women’s Writing, 14.2 (2007), 321-337
  • ‘Piety and Sociability in Early Modern Women’s Devotional Letters’, co-authored with Mary Morrissey, Women’s Writing, 12.1 (2006), 44-59
  • ‘Epictetus in Eighteenth-Century Wales: Timothy Thomas’ Manuscript Translation of the Enchiridion’, Translation and Literature, 14.1 (2005), 45-63
  • ‘What Daniel Really Did With The PharsaliaThe Civil Wars, Lucan and King James’, The Review of English Studies, 55 (219) (2004), 210-232
  • ‘Samuel Daniel’s Use of Sources in The Civil Wars’, Studies in Philology, 101.1 (2004), 59-87
  • ‘Whose Pastorals? William Browne of Tavistock and the Singing of Britannia’, in Archipelagic Identities: Literature and Identity in the Atlantic Archipelago, 1550-1800, ed. by Simon Mealor and Philip Schwyzer (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 43-52
  • ‘Mary Evelyn and Devotional Practice’ in John Evelyn and His Milieu, ed. by Frances Harris and Michael Hunter (London: The British Library, 2003), pp. 221-232
  • ‘The Molesworths and Arcadia: Italian Literature and Whig Constructions of Liberty, 1702-1728’, Forum of Modern Language Studies, 39.2, special issue: Anglo-American and Irish Expatriate Communities in Italy, ed. by Alison Chapman and Jane Stabler (2003), 122-135

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