Dr Felicity Stout

Photo of Felicity Stout


De Velling Willis Reseach Fellow
BA (Sheff), MA (Sheff), PhD (Sheff)
Early Modern Travel and Trade and Environmental History


+44 (0)114 22 22598
Jessop West 3.01


Felicity Stout received her PhD in early modern history from the University of Sheffield in 2009. Since then she has taught various courses on early modern history, including a Special Subject on ‘Ghosts, Witches and Portents: the Supernatural in Early Modern Europe, c. 1530-1720’ and ‘The “Disenchantment” of Early Modern Europe, c.1570–1770’. She has also provided research assistance to various projects in the Departments of History and Psychology. In 2010 she held the Society of Renaissance Studies Post-doctoral Fellowship and a short-term Folger Shakespeare Library Fellowship to work on her forthcoming book Exploring Russia in the Elizabethan Commonwealth. In 2011, she joined The Hakluyt Edition Project as co-editor of Volume 4 and worked as the project’s Research Fellow at Nottingham Trent University. In 2012 she held fellowships in the USA at the Huntington Library, San Marino and the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC. Between 2009 and 2012, Felicity also worked part-time in the Urban Forestry industry and ran regular Social Forestry projects. She currently holds the De Velling Willis Fellowship for the Arts and Humanities and is based in the History Department.


Felicity’s research interests cover early modern travel, trade and trans-national histories, as well as the history of forests, forestry and wood as a natural resource. Although trained as a historian, her recent and current research projects have led her into interdisciplinary areas, combining her historical practice with approaches from the disciplines of English literature, geography, psychology and cultural studies. Her primary area of expertise is early modern exploration, travel literature and trans-cultural encounters, with a particular focus on Anglo-Russian relations in the Elizabethan period. She is currently developing her expertise in the study of woodland history and natural resource management in the late Elizabethan and Jacobean periods.

Felicity is currently an editor on The Hakluyt Edition Project, co-editing Volume 4 for the new, critical edition of Richard Hakluyt’s landmark work The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation (1598–1600).


Her second research project: ‘“No wood, no kingdome”: wood, woodlands, and the politics of common-wealth in early modern England’ takes a fresh look at the politically-charged discourse of commonwealth employed in early modern England to discuss land management, wood scarcity and socio-economic interactions with woodland. Focusing on printed treatises, manuscript petitions, and government policy, the project explores how the language of commonwealth was used to discuss the contested space of ‘waste’ and ‘wood’ land and the management of natural resources.

Further information on research opportunities within the department.


Exploring Russia in the Elizabethan Commonwealth: the Muscovy Company and Giles Fletcher, the elder (1546-1611) (MUP, forthcoming 2014).

Co-editor (with Anna Agnarsdottir and Michael Brennan) of Volume 4 of Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations (OUP, forthcoming 2016)


‘“The strange and wonderfull Discoverie of Russia”: Richard Hakluyt and Censorship’, in Richard Hakluyt and Travel Writing in Early Modern Europe, eds. Daniel Carey and Claire Jowitt (Ashgate and The Hakluyt Society, 2012).

‘“The Countrey is too colde, the people beastlie be”: Elizabethan Representations of Russia’, Literature Compass, 10:6 (2013), 483–495

Public Engagement

Felicity has recently established a public engagement project with the Chatsworth Estate, Derbyshire. ‘ “No wood, no kingdom”: Chatsworth Woodland History Experience’ is an interdisciplinary, collaborative research and education project in partnership with the Chatsworth Archives, the Education Team and the Domains Teams at Chatsworth House. It uses archival, archaeological and geographical material to explore and understand more about how Chatsworth’s woodlands were used and mapped in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The aim of the project is to use the material found in the archives at Chatsworth to collaborate with the Education Team to produce an outdoor woodland education package to be delivered to local schools. The project uses the extensive map, survey and manuscript collections in Chatsworth archives to facilitate a greater understanding of how firewood and timber on the Chatsworth estate were utilized for both the domestic needs of the estate and to fuel locally important industries, such as lead mining. The education package, developed from the research findings, focuses on the historical use of wood as a renewable natural resource on the Chatsworth estate and will connect Chatsworth’s current use of wood on the estate, in their newly installed wood-fuelled biomass gasifier, with their historical use of this natural resource (http://www.chatsworth.org/newsroom/current-news/the-chatsworth-renewable-energy-centre). The education package explores questions of resource management in the past and in the present, drawing attention to current concerns around renewable and non-renewable energy resources and incorporating material from Chatsworth’s new Renewable Energies Centre. The project draws on the creative skills of the Education Team, the practical knowledge and expertise of the Domains Team and the research and academic expertise of myself, in order to create, pilot, and deliver an innovative educational package that raises awareness of how we have harnessed energy in the past from renewable natural resources and how we are harnessing such resources now in order to live in a more sustainable way and to mitigate the problems of climate change.

In the Media

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Professional Roles

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University Administrative Roles

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