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Holly Riach MA

PhD candidate


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

Cohort/Start PhD: 2020-2021

Literary Scribes, Male and Female, c.1558-1642
Universiteit Leiden
Overarching project: FEATHERS (Fe/Males and their Scribes): Authorship and the Mediation of Voices, c. 1558-1642
Supervisor(s): Dr. N.N.W. Akkerman / Dr. S. Lammes. Co-Supervisor: Dr J.F. van Dijkhuizen

As part of the ERC-funded ‘FEATHERS’ project, my research forms part of a team which seeks to analyse and re-define the relationships between authors and scribes which are unique to early modern epistolary, literary, and legal cultures.

Focussing on the different genres of literary texts found within miscellany manuscripts, I will investigate the levels of agency employed by early modern scribes as they use, copy, and adapt literary texts. In doing so, I will explore the creativity involved in literary manuscript production, dissecting the role of the author in the early modern period. Due to early modern societal convention, evidence of female authorship and scribal practice is scarce, often existing solely in the private domain or masked by the physical hand of male scribes. Therefore, by examining miscellany manuscripts, I hope to uncover the voices of secular female scribes which, until now, remain largely understudied.