Dr Jim Fitzmaurice

Prof James Fitzmaurice

Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

email: j.fitzmaurice@sheffield.ac.uk


I am Emeritus Professor of English at Northern Arizona University and Honorary Fellow in English at the University of Sheffield. I was Director of Distance Learning for the School of English at Sheffield from January of 2006 to August of 2014, but am now generally retired.

I was an undergraduate at Occidental College in Los Angeles, where I majored in Comparative Literature (English and Spanish). I went on to an MA in English at California State University, Long Beach.

My PhD thesis (University of Iowa) was on Iconography and the Religious Allegory of Spenser´s Fairy Queene, but I have not worked on Spenser much over the years. Rather I have published on a variety of male and female writers of seventeenth-century England including, Aphra Behn, Ben Jonson, Thomas Carew, Jane Barker, William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, Elizabeth Wilmot, Countess of Rochester, William Shakespeare, and Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle.

Research Interests

My present research focuses on connections between the visual arts and Margaret Cavendish’s poetry, fiction, and drama. My sense of visual arts is derived from research into painting, prints, and sculpture that were available for Cavendish to see when she lived in Antwerp during the 1650s and in England in the 1660s. She thought of herself as a woman who painted in words and sometimes commented on art as it was collected for and displayed in country houses. She and her husband both wrote within (and against) traditions of the representation of art and country houses found in the writings of William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson.

Conference Organizer for 2018-2019 

Feel free to write to me for information about these forthcoming professional meetings.

  • Othello’s Island Conference. Literature, history, and art history of the Eastern Mediterranean during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Nicosia, Cyprus, 14-16 April, 2019.
  • Society for Renaissance Studies. Two sessions on Margaret Cavendish. Sheffield, 3-5 July, 2018. 
  • Seminar Leader for Renaissance Society of America (with Naomi Miller). Toronto, March 2019. 

Research and Teaching Posts 

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University, 1981.
  • Guest Professor, University of Tübingen, 1986.
  • Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, 1996.


Margaret Cavendish on Country Houses and Gardens

Selected Publications


  • Cavendish and Shakespeare: Interconnections, co-editor with Katherine Romack, Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2006. A collection of essays.
  • The Sociable Letters of Margaret Cavendish. Peterborough, Canada: Broadview Press, 2004.
  • Major Women Writers of Seventeenth-Century England, Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1997. A modern-spelling, scholarly edition suitable for classroom use. Fitzmaurice: General editor; author of introduction. Sections edited by Fitzmaurice: The Rover by Aphra Behn (complete) and Sociable Letters by Margaret Cavendish (selections). With: Josephine Roberts (textual editor). Section editors: James Fitzmaurice, Josephine Roberts, Eugene Cunnar, Nancy Gutierrez, and Carol Barash. Pp. 408. Numerous reprintings.

Journal Articles and  Book Chapters

  • "Margaret Cavendish and the Cultural Milieus of Antwerp and Paris," commissioned chapter for an ARC Humanities Press volume edited by Lisa Hopkins and Tom Rutter. Completed and delivered Spring 2018. 
  • “Robert Herrick, Collectors, and the Mediterranean Trade in Art,The Journal of Mediterranean Studies edited by Lisa Hopkins vol, 25, 2016, pp. 65 - 82.
  • “Whimsy and Medieval Romance in the Life of William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle,” in Authority, Authorship and Aristocratic Identity in Seventeenth Century England: William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle, and his Political, Social and Cultural Connections, eds. Peter Edwards and Elspeth Graham, Brill, Leiden, 2016, pp. 60 - 82 .
  • “Walking on Figs: Obama as Young Writer in Literary Los Angeles,” in The Literary Writings of Barack Obama, eds. Henry Veggian and Richard Purcell. Palgrave-Macmillan, 2016, pp. 79-99.
  • “Paganism, Christianity, and the Faculty of Fancy in the Writing of Margaret Cavendish,” in God and Nature in the Thought of Margaret Cavendish, eds. Brandie Siegfried and Lisa Sarasohn, Ashgate Press, 2014, pp. 77 – 92.
  • “Margaret Cavendish, Richard Flecknoe, and Raillery at the Salon of Beatrix de Cusdance,” English Studies, vol. 92, no. 7 (November 2011), pp. 771 – 785.
  • When an Old Ballad is Plainly Sung’: Musical Lyrics in the Plays of Margaret and William Cavendish” in Oral Traditions and Gender in Early Modern Literary Texts, eds. Mary Ellen Lamb and Karen Bamford. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007, pp. 153 – 168.
  • “Historical Linguistics, Literary Interpretation, and the Romances of Margaret Cavendish,” in English Historical Pragmatics: Explorations in Methodology and Data, edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Susan Fitzmaurice. De Gruyter, 2007. pp 267 – 284.
  • “‘The Lotterie’: A Transcription of a Manuscript Play Probably by Margaret Cavendish,” Huntington Library Quarterly, vol. 66 (2003), pp. 155 - 67.
  • “Fear of the Supernatural as a ‘Pleasante and Merry Humour’ in Two of Newcastle’s Comedies,” in Fear and its Representations in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, eds., Anne Scott and Cynthia Kosso, Brepols, 2002 (Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, 6), pp. 189 – 205.
  • “William Cavendish and Two Entertainments by Ben Jonson,” The Ben Jonson Journal, vol. 5 (1998, appeared 1999), pp. 63 - 80.
  • “The Language of Gender and a Textual Problem in Aphra Behn's The Rover,” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen [journal of the Modern Language Society of Finland], vol. 96, 1995, pp. 283 – 293.
  • “Aphra Behn and The Abraham's Sacrifice Case,” Huntington Library Quarterly, vol. 56, summer, 1993, pp. 319 - 326.
  • “Margaret Cavendish on Her Own Writing: Evidence from Revision and Handmade Correction.” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, vol. 85, September, 1991, pp. 297 - 307.
  • “Carew's Funerary Poetry and the Paradox of Sincerity,” Studies in English Literature, vol. 25, January, 1985, pp. 127 – 144.