Professor Cathy Shrank
School of English
Deputy Head of School
+44 114 222 8485
Full contact details
School of English
1 Upper Hanover Street
My research focuses on early modern (or Renaissance) literature and culture. My interest in this area stems back to my undergraduate days at Cambridge, where a course on comparative literature introduced me to the poetry of the Henrician courtier Thomas Wyatt and his translations of Petrarch. I pursued this interest in early and mid-Tudor writing – an often neglected part of the canon – through my Masters and PhD, which looked at formations of English national identity in the decades after the break with Rome.
I moved to Sheffield in 2005, after stints at King’s College London and the University of Aberdeen.
- Research interests
My research ranges from the late fifteenth to the late seventeenth century, and moves between poetry, prose, and drama, and between texts in manuscript and print. It also includes less obviously “literary” forms of writing, such as medical or educational works, although I’ve also written on hypercanonical figures like Shakespeare. The eclectic nature of what I study is exemplified by an on-going project on English dialogues: works written in the form of a conversation. These cover all sorts of topics, from teaching skills such as archery or maths, to the behaviour of women, or pressing political issues such as the marriage of Elizabeth I, the role of parliament, or the execution of Mary Queen of Scots.
A lot of my research involves scholarly editing. Projects (completed and on-going) include Shakespeare’s poems, the works of the Elizabethan writer Thomas Nashe, and William Tyndale’s Parable of the Wicked Mammon. As with the work on dialogues, annotating these texts takes you down often unexpected paths, from working out the date of solar and lunar eclipses to acquiring a detailed knowledge of early modern insults. Soon I will be getting back to where my academic journey began, with an edition of the poems of Thomas Wyatt.
Other forthcoming work includes essays on the marital correspondence of Sir John Cheke, the relationship between literature and history, and a collection of essays (co-edited with Phil Withington) on Thomas More’s Utopia.
- The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Literature:1485-1603. OUP Oxford.
- Mirroring the “Long Reformation”: Translating Erasmus’ Colloquies in Early Modern England. Reformation, 24(2), 59-75. View this article in WRRO
- Introduction. Huntington Library Quarterly, 80(2), 193-200. View this article in WRRO
- What I am Reading. Reformation, 21(2), 128-130.
- Doing Away with the Drab Age: Research Opportunities in Mid-Tudor Literature (1530-1580). Literature Compass, 7(3), 160-176.
- View this article in WRRO Doing Away with the Drab Age. Literature Compass.
- Thomas Middleton and Early Modern Textual Culture, A Companion to The Collected Works. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ENGLISH STUDIES, 13(1), 111-112.
- Thomas Middleton, The Collected Works. European Journal of English Studies, 13(1), 110-112.
- View this article in WRRO Reading Shakespeare's Sonnets: John Benson and the 1640 Poems. Shakespeare, 5(3), 271-291.
- James Simpson,Burning to Read: English Fundamentalism and its Reformation Opponents. Reformation, 13(1), 230-232.
- "Matters of love as of discourse": The English Sonnet, 1560–1580. Studies in Philology, 105(1), 30-49.
- Trollers and Dreamers: Defining the Citizen-Subject in Sixteenth-Century Cheap Print. Yearbook of English Studies, 38(1/2), 102-118.
- 'But I that knew what harbred in that hed': Thomas Wyatt and his posthumous interpreters. Proceedings of the British Academy, 154, 375-401.
- A Work by John Bale Identified?. Notes and Queries, 53(4), 421-422.
- Wayne A. Chandler, ed.,An Anthology of Commendatory Verse from the English Renaissance. Reformation, 11(1), 227-230.
- "These fewe scribbled rules": Representing Scribal Intimacy in Early Modern Print. Huntington Library Quarterly, 67(2), 295-314.
- Civility and the City in Coriolanus. Shakespeare Quarterly, 54(4), 406-423.
- Andrew Borde and the Politics of Identity in Reformation England. Reformation, 5(1), 1-26.
- 'That Clytemnestra', 'that fatall Medea': the 'detectioun' of Mary Queen of Scots, 1567-1587. Huntington Library Quarterly, 73, 523-541.
- Mirroring the "Long Reformation": Translating Erasmus' Colloquies in Early Modern England*, Early Modern Literature and England's Long Reformation (pp. 7-23). Routledge
- Legends, Shrines and Ruined Tombs, Memory and the English Reformation (pp. 334-350). Cambridge University Press
- Citing scripture in late medieval and early modern English morality drama, Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama Manchester University Press
- The Bow and the Book: Ascham’s Toxophilus In Nicholas L & Law C (Ed.), Roger Ascham and His Sixteenth-Century World (pp. 208-225). Brill
- ‘Masters of civility: Castiglione’s Courtier, Della Casa’s Galateo and Guazzo’s Civil Conversation in early modern England’ In Marrapodi M (Ed.), The Routledge Research Companion to Anglo-Italian Renaissance Literature and Culture (pp. 144-159). Routledge
- Shakespeare’s Sonnets, The Complete Poems of Shakespeare (pp. 269-623). Routledge
- ‘Let the Bird of Loudest Lay’, The Complete Poems of Shakespeare (pp. 251-267). Routledge
- Introduction, The Complete Poems of Shakespeare (pp. xiii-xv). Routledge
- A Lover’s Complaint, The Complete Poems of Shakespeare (pp. 625-661). Routledge
- View this article in WRRO Mocking or Mirthful? Laughter in early modern dialogue In Knights MJ & Morton A (Ed.), The Power of Laughter and Satire in Early Modern Britain: Political and Religious Culture, 1500-1820 Boydell & Brewer
- Cross Sections (I): 1516-1520 In Keymer T (Ed.), The Oxford History of the Novel in English, vol. 1 (pp. 46-54). Oxford University Press
- On Error In Loffman C & Phillips H (Ed.), A Handbook of Editing Early Modern Texts (pp. 139-146). Routledge
- Promising Eternity in the 1609 Quarto Bloomsbury Publishing Plc Imprint previously known as Arden Shakespeare
- Finding a Vernacular Voice: The Classical Translations of Sir Thomas Wyatt In Copeland R (Ed.), The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature: Volume 1: 800-1558 (pp. 583-600). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Disséquer le corps politique: la Couronne et le Parlement dans les dialogues politiques anglais du début du XVIIe siècle In Bouhaik-Girones M (Ed.), Usages et stratégies polémiques en Europe, XIVe-premier XVIIe siècle (pp. 155-166). Peter Lang
- Mise-en-page, “the Authors Genius”, “the capacity of the Reader”, and the ambition of ‘a Good Compositer’, In Archer C & Peters L (Ed.), Religion and the Book Trade (pp. 66-82). Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
- All talk and no action? Early modern political dialogue, The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Prose (pp. 27-42). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Beastly Metamorpohoses: Losing Control in Early Modern Literary Culture In Herring J (Ed.), Intoxication and Society (pp. 193-209). Palgrave MacMillan
- Formation of Nationhood Oxford University Press
- View this article in WRRO 1553, Oxford History of Popular Print Culture, Vol 1 (pp. 537-547). Oxford University Press
- Society In Kinney AF (Ed.), Elizabethan and Jacobean England Wiley-Blackwell
- Community In Cummings B & Simpson J (Ed.), Cultural Reformations (pp. 441-458). Oxford University Press
- The Politics of Shakespeare's Sonnets In Armitage D, Condren C & Fitzmaurice A (Ed.), Shakespeare and Early Modern Political Thought (pp. 101-118). Cambridge University Press
- The Travails of Tudor Literature In Pincombe M & Shrank C (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Literature:1485-1603 (pp. 1-19). OUP Oxford
- Prologue: The Travails of Tudor Literature In Shrank C & Pincombe M (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Literature: 1485-1603
- 'Sir Thomas Elyot and the Bonds of Community' In Shrank C (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Literature (pp. 154-169). Oxford University Press
- Stammering, snoring and other problems in Early Modern dialogue In Blakeley J & Pincombe M (Ed.), Writing and Reform in Sixteenth-Century England (pp. 179-192).
- Answer Poetry and Other Verse “Conversations”, A Companion to Renaissance Poetry (pp. 376-388). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
- Elyot, Thomas John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
- Poetry and the Commonwealth, Edmund Spenser in Context (pp. 176-184). Cambridge University Press
- ‘Hoysted high vpon the rolling wheele’: Elianor Cobham's Lament, A Mirror for Magistratesin Context (pp. 109-125). Cambridge University Press
- Crafting the Nation, A Social History of England, 1500–1750 (pp. 19-38). Cambridge University Press
- His sister's family: the Harts, The Shakespeare Circle (pp. 49-56). Cambridge University Press
- Counsel, succession and the politics of Shakespeare's Sonnets, Shakespeare and Early Modern Political Thought (pp. 101-118). Cambridge University Press
- ‘Civil instruction: Ordering the godly commonweal in John Cheke’s marital correspondence’ In McDiarmaid JF (Ed.), The Cambridge Connection in Tudor England: Humanism, Reform, Rhetoric, Politics Brill
- View this article in WRRO Manuscript, Authenticity and 'evident proofs' against the Scottish Queen (pp. 198-218).
- View this article in WRRO WILLIAM TYNDALE A very brief history. TLS-THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT(5985), 12-12.
Conference proceedings papers
- Civil Tongues: Language, Law and Reformation (pp 19-34)
- Research group
I welcome applications from potential research students in any area of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature and culture.
Current and former PhDs include projects on Post-War Polish productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream; Drayton’s Poly-olbion; representations of Thomas Wolsey from Skelton to Shakespeare; Tudor women writers; a comparative study of the influence of Galen in England and Italy; and editions of a number of important early manuscripts (Burley; V&A Dyce MS 44; BL Harleian MS 7392(2); BL Additional MS 36529).
- Teaching activities
My teaching at undergraduate and Masters level mainly focuses on the period 1500-1800.