Emily Naish

School of English

Research Student


Full contact details

Emily Naish
School of English
Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

Thesis title
‘Of Albion’s glorious Isle the Wonders whilst I write’: Poly-Olbion’s relationship to the natural world


Thesis abstract
My project explores how Michael Drayton’s topographical poem Poly-Olbion (1612/1622) provides a challenge to anthropocentric thinking about the natural world, through a detailed examination of its generic and literary inheritances and influences. Exploring a range of socioeconomic factors, the research situates Poly-Olbion in relation to other, more canonical Elizabethan and early-Stuart texts. Also encompassing its cartographic etchings and explanatory notes, the project will open a new way of reading the poem as a series of poetic conversations about what we now call ecological issues (e.g., deforestation, erosion, land use).

  • PhD English, University of Sheffield, 2020 - present
  • MA English Literary Studies, University of Exeter, 2018
  • BA (Hons) Fine Art, Falmouth University, 2014
  • ‘No wood, no Kingdome’: The Writing of Forests and the English Literary Inheritance in the Elizabethan Age’, Epochs, Ages, and Cycles: Time and the Environment, Newcastle, September 2022
  • ‘Remembering and Forgetting the History of Land in Michael Drayton’s Poly-Olbion’, Memory: Staging, Praxis & Practice, Durham, July 2022
  • ‘Early Modern ‘Floods’: Idealised and Anxious Rivers in Early Modern England’, MEMS Festival 2022, University of Kent (17th-18th June 2022)
  • ‘‘Without stirring our feete out of a warme studie’: Environment, Identity, and Travel in Early Modern England’, Who Am I? Constructing Identity from Culture and Belief, Sheffield, May 2022
  • ‘The Hermit’s ‘sweet retyred life’: Poly-Olbion’s Challenge to Fearful Representations of Woodland Communities in Early Modern Literature’, Home and Early Modernity, London, February 2022