Dr Rebecca J Emmett

Lecturer in Early Modern British History

Location Arts Two 3.08

Email: r.emmett@qmul.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8369

I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of St Andrews before completing postgraduate and doctoral study at the Universities of Birmingham and Plymouth.

Before joining the School of History I was a Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of York, having previously held research fellowships at the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Huntington Library in the USA. Before that I held the position of Research Associate on the Publishers and Writers in Shakespeare’s England project at St John’s College, Oxford.


My research explores the role of networks within early modern publishing, examining the implications for this system of production on the autonomy of printers and the relationship between books and those who sold them. I am also interested in the way in which stationers invested in books and how this reflected or shaped consumer demand.

Currently I am preparing a monograph focused on the career of the notorious English stationer Robert Waldegrave (1578-1604). Placing Waldegrave within the wider network of stationers he engaged with, this work will challenge the reductive interpretation of Waldegrave as a radical religious publisher by questioning his autonomy and investment practices.

  • Networks of print in sixteenth-century England and Scotland
  • The role of Stationers in the development of the early modern literary canon.
  • Monarchical uses of, and appearances in, print.
  • Anglo-Scottish history
  • Digital humanities 

Undergraduate teaching


‘The Publishers and the Principal: The Forgotten Role of the Charteris Family in Early Modern Scotland’, Publishing History (March, 2016) Issue 75.

The Role of the Arts in History Conference Proceedings, (University of Plymouth Press; London, 2013). Rebecca J. Emmett, (ed.)                             

'Fonts of Knowledge: The significance of Typography in pamphlet literature during the late sixteenth century,' in, Rebecca J. Emmett, (ed.), The Role of the Arts in History Conference Proceedings, (University of Plymouth Press, London, 2013).

Membership of professional associations or societies

Member of the Bibliographical Society


Appearances in the media

I have appeared on BBC radio on various occasions to discuss the issue of authenticity in historical drama, and the role of Shakespeare in modern education.

In 2016 I was part of a panel of experts involved in discussing the significance of Shakespeare on BBC One’s The Big Questions, and contributed to a panel at the Bradford Literary Festival entitled Dark worlds: ISIS, Nazi Germany and the Quest for Utopia.