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Clodagh Murphy MA

PhD candidate


Area(s) of interest: Digital Humanities, Early Modern History, Languages & Literature

Cohort/Start PhD: 2020-2021

The Amanuensis & His Mistress: The Secretaries of Queen Elizabeth I, c.1558-1603
Universiteit Leiden
Overarching project: FEATHERS (Fe/Males and their Scribes): Authorship and the Mediation of Voices, c. 1558-1642
Supervisor(s): Dr. S. Lammes, Dr. N.N.W. Akkerman, Dr. mr. L.E.M. Fikkers

This research will investigate the role of secretaries in the production of Queen Elizabeth I’s English language letters. Despite general acknowledgement of the role that secretaries played in the production of Elizabeth’s letters, her secretariat has received little scholarly attention. By analysing Elizabeth’s corpus through computational authorship attribution and tracing changes in her scribal and autograph letters, this research seeks to identify Elizabeth’s personal secretaries, examine their influence on the construction of Elizabeth’s authorial voice, and analyse their relationship with their employer. Working with the FEATHERS project team members, this research will strive to create a working definition of the early modern secretary.