I grew up in Colindale and attended a state grammar school (St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School). I studied BA French and Russian at UCL (2011-2016), followed by MA Early Modern Studies at UCL under the direction of the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (2016-2017). After a year in non-mainstream teaching, I completed my PhD in French at the University of Cambridge funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (2018-2021). In October 2021, I took up my current position at Queen’s College, Oxford, as a Laming Junior Research Fellow.
I offer teaching on French literature and culture including French cinema and early modern French literature.
My research takes a transnational approach to the history and writings of early modern women with a focus on French literature and culture. I am currently completing my first book, which explores the London-based salon of the French exile, Hortense Mancini, Duchess of Mazarin (1646-1699). Based on my AHRC-funded doctoral thesis and titled ‘The Salon-in-Exile’, this book introduces the Mazarin salon’s literary output and traces its cosmopolitan membership, which spanned French Catholic and Huguenot exiles as well as Anglicans, English Catholics, and Dutch and Italian Protestants. Each chapter of the book takes up one strand of the salon’s activities to reveal how it became an influential Anglo-French and pan-European hub in London. By investigating what happened when the model of the salon moved beyond France’s borders, I offer a new account of co-existence and collaboration through the case-study of Mancini’s multiconfessional salon. As an accompaniment to this book, I am editing and translating Mancini’s letters, supported by an Amy Wygant Research Grant from SEMFS, which will mark the first ever edition of her correspondence.
Outside of these larger projects, I have published articles on satire in the writings of Madeleine de Scudéry and on epicureanism in the work of Charles de Saint-Évremond. I have also published an article on Hortense Mancini’s suicide, which was awarded honourable mention by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender (SSEMWG) for Best Article of 2022.
My next major project, tentatively titled ‘Huguenot Women: Lively Communication and Translation, 1500-1700’, investigates the forms and styles of Huguenot women’s writings – letters, memoirs, translations – and how these writings have reach and impact. I’m especially interested in ‘liveliness’ as a style of communication and translation, and how attention to lively rhetoric can nuance our understanding of agency in the early modern period. In uncovering the global literary legacy of Huguenot women that stretches from France to Britain, Russia, and Canada, I interrogate what it means to be a Huguenot woman within this transnational framework.
- The Salon-in-Exile: The Influence of Hortense Mancini and the French Diaspora in Restoration London (under contract with Bloomsbury History)
- The Letters of Hortense Mancini: A Bilingual Edition (forthcoming with The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe, Iter Press)
- ‘The Satire of the Salonnière: Women and Humour in Seventeenth-Century France’, Special Issue on ‘The Contested Politics of Humour in French and Francophone Literature and Media, 1600-present’, Australian Journal of French Studies, Volume 59, Number 4, Fall 2022.
- ‘Like Mother, like Daughter: Hortense Mancini, Duchesse de Mazarin, and Marie-Charlotte de La Porte-Mazarin, Marquise de Richelieu’, Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 16, Issue 1, Fall 2021.
- ‘An Epicurean Farewell: Saint-Évremond, Lucretius, and the Godolphin Manuscript’, French Studies, Volume 75, Issue 4, October 2021.
- ‘Leading Ladies: The French tradition of the royal mistress gave new opportunities for women at the court of Charles II’, History Today, Volume 70, Issue 8, August 2020, pp.42-55.
- ‘Aphra Behn’, BBC Freethinking: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000qyvg
- ‘Restoration Influencer’: Interview with Donna Ferguson in The Observer on Hortense Mancini and the Mazarin Salon (February 2021): https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2021/feb/28/restoration-influencer-how-charles-iis-clever-mistress-set-trends-ahead-of-her-time
- ‘The Rise of the Royal Mistresses’, Cambridge Festival: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6-jqgSpq14
- ‘Hortense Mancini – mätress med fäbless för kultur’ in Swedish magazine Historiskan (August 2021 – print only)