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I am a PhD student in English at the University of Bristol and the University of Exeter, supported by the South, West & Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW-DTP2). My research project, entitled ‘Idealising Labour from Deloney to Milton’, traces various imaginings of idealised labour – historical, theological, ethical-political – across a number of literary case studies between the 1590s and 1660s, beginning with the novels of Thomas Deloney and concluding with John Milton’s poetry and prose. For many thinkers in the early modern period, the emergence of capitalism, bureaucracy, and increasingly mechanised industry prompted questions about how people were to find dignity, security, and value in work in the light of radical change. The growing shift from the country to the city as the centre of labour, and from the guilds to individual enterprise, brought with it an interrogation not just of what work is, but of what work should be. My thesis will address this question.

I completed my BA and MA at Cardiff University, with my two dissertations being ‘Shakespeare and the Concept of Work’, and ‘Shakespeare and the Rise of Capitalism, Bureaucracy and the Monetary System’.


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