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 dates back to my undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge. I stayed on at Cambridge to do an MPhil in Renaissance Literature.
During that time, I discovered a particular enthusiasm for Tudor writing, which I then developed during my PhD on sixteenth-century humanism and national identity. My work ranges from the late fifteenth to the late seventeenth century, and moves between poetry, prose, and drama, and between texts in manuscript and print.
I moved to Sheffield in 2005, after stints at King’s College London and the University of Aberdeen.
- Research interests
My publications are mainly on sixteenth and early seventeenth-century literature. In 2004 I published Writing the Nation in Reformation England, 1530-1580 (Oxford University Press). This book offers a re-evaluation of a neglected, but important, period of English writing, during which English national identity was hotly contested. The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Literature, 1485-1603, co-edited with Mike Pincombe, was published in 2009 by Oxford University Press (paperback 2011).
This is the first major collection of essays to look at the literature of the entire Tudor period, from the accession of Henry VII to the death of Elizabeth I, and its 45 chapters pay especial attention to the decades before 1580; it was awarded the Sixteenth Century Society's Ronald H. Bainton Prize in 2010.
I have also published on Shakespeare, including editing Coriolanus for the third edition of the Norton Shakespeare (2015). Other editorial projects include Shakespeare's Poems, co-edited with Raphael Lyne (Routledge, 2018), and Philip Massinger's City Madam (Globe Quartos, 2005; republished 2010 to accompany the production of the play by the Royal Shakespeare Company).
From 2005-2008, I was primary investigator for the `The origins of early modern literature: recovering mid-Tudor writing for a modern audience´, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Besides the Tudor Handbook, this project produced an on-line annotated catalogue of literary texts, printed in English 1519-1579. See: The Origins of Early Modern Literature
Current research includes finishing a monograph on dialogue from the late medieval period to the Exclusion Crisis (generously funded by a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship 2015-18). I am also one of the General Editors of the AHRC-funded Oxford Works of Thomas Nashe and am editing William Tyndale’s Parable of the Wicked Mammon for the NEH-funded Independent Works of William Tyndale.
In short, I have a wide range of research interests across the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, stretching from the most canonical early modern writers (Shakespeare!) to obscure figures and neglected texts (one of my current favourites is Thomas Lodge’s 1591 adaptation of the legend of ‘Robert the Devil’).
Forthcoming work includes articles and essays on Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey; citing Scripture in late medieval and early modern drama; the marital correspondence of Sir John Cheke; Roger Ascham’s Toxophilus; and early modern English translations of Erasmus’ colloquies.
- 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.
- 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 literature and culture.
Current and former PhDs include projects on Post-War Polish productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream; 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 1600-1800.