Catherine Evans


Catherine Evansc evans profile picture

MA in Early Modern Literature, Kings' College London, 2014

BA in English, University of Bristol, 2013.


Emma Rhatigan & Marcus Nevitt

Research interests

Early modern Literature, Book history, Religious Literature , Philosophy of time



The early modern era was characterised by increasingly rigorous attendance to the passing of time. Following the Reformation, the once sacred calendar marked by Saints’ Days and religious feasts became associated with commerce and contracts. Individuals began to be paid and valued for their hourly labour. Simultaneously, developments in horology meant that wealthy individuals could measure time ever more accurately. It has been argued that the move from the communally shared time heard in the music of church bells, to the rigorous, private time of the tick of the personal pocket watch ushered in the birth of capitalism.

My project focuses specifically on religious literature, considering how authors and divines dealt with temporally inflected religious problems in an atmosphere where the notion of time was coming under scrutiny. Sixteenth-century psalm translations provide a fruitful source for considering how the protestant mission of penance operated in an ideological atmosphere that one’s fate after death preordained. I also examine different diagrammatic representations of time, including devotional aids such as William Perkins’s “Golden Chaine”, genealogies, and calendars in almanacs. There is a cultural materialist element to my research, as I consider annotations in almanacs in order to ascertain how early modern readers may have worked against the homogenising force of the printed calendar. I am currently looking at how John Donne and George Herbert variously describe their relationship with time in their sermons and poetry respectively.


Professional associations

  • Society for Study of Early Modern Women (SSEMW)


"Metanoia: Penitential memory in Elizabethan Women’s translations of Psalm 51" in Memory and Identity in Medieval and early modern Britain and Ireland (Peter Lang, Forthcoming)

Review Article: “Memory and Intertextuality in Renaissance Literature by Raphael Lyne” in Journal of History and Cultures (7) 2017: 57-58

Conference Papers

“The church is his Eccho: Aural Memory in Donne’s Sermons” at Remembering the Reformation, University of Cambridge [09/09/2017]

“Accounting for time in early modern almanacs” at Habitual Behaviour in early modern Europe, University of Sheffield [02/06/2017]

“In the belfry with John Donne” at Space, Place, and Image in early modern literature, University of Lausanne [12/05/17]

“Pleating time in early modern almanacs” at Embodiment and New Materialism in Premodern Literature and Culture, 1350-1700; University of Lancaster [26/02/2017]

“‘To ear and heart send sounds and thoughts of gladness, that bruised bones may dance away their
sadness’: Elizabethan settings of Psalm 51” at Medieval-Renaissance Music Conference; University of Sheffield [06/06/2016]

“‘Now, this Bell tolling softly for another, saies to me, Thou must die’: John Donne’s prophetic bells” at IASEMS Conference "Prophecy and Conspiracy in early modern England"; The British Institute, Florence [21/04/2016]

“Metanoia: Remembrance as penance in early modern Psalm translations” at Borderlines XX: Memory and identity in the Medieval and early modern world; Trinity College, Dublin [16/04/16]

“'Renew, O Lord, in me a constant sprite': Temporality and music in early modern psalms” at Birkbeck Early Modern Graduate Conference “Sensing the early modern”; Birkbeck, London [20/02/16]

Research Groups

  • Lit 234: Renaissance Literature
  • Lit 114: Shakespeare