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Professor Paulina Kewes

Roles and subjects

Helen Morag Fellow and Tutor in English Literature



Professor Paulina Kewes is Helen Morag Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Jesus College and Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford.

Academic Background

DPhil (MA Gdańsk)

Professor Kewes took her DPhil at Jesus College, Oxford in 1996. She was the J A Pye Junior Research Fellow at University College, Oxford (1995-1997) and held positions as Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (1997-2003) before returning to Jesus College as a Tutorial Fellow in 2003. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and serves on the Oxford English Monographs Committee and the editorial boards of The Huntington Library Quarterly, Postgraduate English and Critical Survey.

In November 2020, Professor Kewes was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship to embark on a three-year book project (2021-2024) exploring the impact of the fierce controversy over the royal succession which dominated the reigns of Henry VIII’s childless children – the evangelical Edward VI, the Catholic Mary I, and the Protestant Elizabeth I. Contesting the Royal Succession in Reformation England, Latimer to Shakespeare is contracted to Oxford University Press.

Professor Kewes was a Co-investigator for the AHRC-funded ‘Stuart Successions Project’ (2011-2016) which explored succession literature in Britain from James I to Queen Anne. This in turn led to the development of the Stuarts Online (2015-2017), also funded by the AHRC, a major resource bringing scholarship on the Stuart era to a wider audience.

Professor Kewes was the Senior Member of the Oxford University Polish Society, the first woman to hold this position (2017-2022).

Undergraduate Teaching

Papers covering the period from the sixteenth century to the early nineteenth, including Shakespeare. She teaches interdisciplinary classes for the Joint School of History and English and the early modern paper for the Joint School of Classics and English.

Postgraduate Teaching

MSt courses on: ‘Shakespeare, History, and Politics’, ‘Imagining Early Modern London’, and ‘Translations of State: Ancient Rome and Shakespearian Drama’.

Research Interests

Renaissance, Restoration, and eighteenth-century century literature, esp. drama and civic pageantry; historiography; politics and political thought; classical reception; translation; Shakespeare; Dryden; histoire du livre; plagiarism.

Selected Publications


  1. Ed. Ancient Rome and Political Culture in Early Modern England, special issue of the Huntington Library Quarterly, 83 (2020).
  2. Ed. with Andrew McRae, Stuart Succession Literature: Moments and Transformations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).
  3. Ed. with Susan Doran, Doubtful and Dangerous: The Question of Succession in Late Elizabethan England (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014; pbk 2016).
  4. Ed. with Ian Archer and Felicity Heal, The Oxford Handbook of Holinshed’s Chronicles (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013). See also The Holinshed Project.
  5. Ed. The Uses of History in Early Modern England (San Marino, CA: Huntington Library Press, 2006), pp. ix +449.
  6. Ed. Plagiarism in Early Modern England (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), pp. xv+276.
  7. Authorship and Appropriation: Writing for the Stage in England, 1660-1710 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), pp. xiv+304.

Journal Articles and Chapters in Books

  1. With Jim van der Meulen, Steven Gunn, Dorota Pietrzyk-Reeves, Paul Seaward, Tracey Sowerby, ‘Towards a History of Parliamentary Culture in the Early Modern World’ Parliaments, Estates and Representation | Taylor & Francis Online (tandfonline.com), forthcoming in 2024.
  2.  ‘A Persian Mirror for English Magistrates: Thomas Preston’s Cambises and the Coming to Terms with the Marian Past’, in Reckoning with History: Essays on Uses of the Past for Daniel Woolf, ed. Krista Kesselring and Matthew Neufeld (McGill-Queen’s University Press, forthcoming in 2024).
  3. With Susan Doran, ‘Joint Iconography for Joint Sovereigns: Mary Queen of Scots, James VI of Scotland, and the Campaign for Association, c. 1578-1584’, Women and Cultures of Portraiture in the British Literary Renaissance, (ed.) Yasmin Arshad and Chris Laoutaris (Arden Shakespeare, in press).
  4. With Steven Gunn, Dorota Pietrzyk-Reeves, Paul Seaward, Tracey Sowerby, & Jim van der Meulen, ‘Early Modern Parliamentary Studies: Overview and New Perspectives’, History Compass, 21 (2023), e12757. https://doi.org/10.1111/hic3.12757.
  5. ‘Interdisciplinary Research: Opportunities and Challenges’, in In Search of Academic Excellence: Social Sciences and Humanities in Focus (vol. I), ed. A. Gromkowska-Melosik, B. Hordecki, T.R. Szymczyński (Berlin: Peter Lang, 2022), 61-73.
  6. ‘The Final Years: England, Scotland and the Succession (1588–1603)’, in Susan Doran (ed.), Elizabeth and Mary: Royal Cousins, Rival Queens (London: British Library Publishing, 2021), 245-51.
  7. ‘Translations of State: Ancient Rome and Late Elizabethan Political Thought’, Huntington Library Quarterly, 83 (2020).
  8. ‘A World Well Lost?’, ELR 50 (2020).
  9. ‘”The Idol of State Innovators and Republicans”: Robert Persons’s A Conference about the Next Succession (1594/5) in Stuart England’, in Stuart Succession Literature: Moments and Transformations, ed. Paulina Kewes and Andrew McRae (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 149-85.
  10. ‘Parliament and the Principle of Elective Succession in Elizabethan England’, in Writing the History of Parliament in Tudor and Early Stuart England, ed. Paul Cavill and Alexandra Gajda (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018), pp.106-32.
  11. ‘The 1553 Succession Crisis Reconsidered’, Historical Research, 90 (2017), 465-85.
  12. ‘”I ask your voices and your suffrages”: The Bogus Rome of Peele and Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus’, The Review of Politics, 78: 4 (2016), 551-70.
  13. ‘”Plesures in lernyng” and the Politics of Counsel in Early Elizabethan England: Royal Visits to Cambridge and Oxford’, English Literary Renaissance, 46 (2016), 333-75.
  14. ‘Romans in the Mirror’, in Mirror for Magistrates in Context: Literature, History and Politics before the Age of Shakespeare, ed. Harriet Archer and Andrew Hadfield (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), pp. 126-46.
  15. ‘”Ierusalem thou dydst promyse to buylde vp”: Kingship, Counsel, and Early Elizabethan Drama’, in The Politics of Counsel in England and Scotland, 1286-1707, ed. Jacqueline Rose, Proceedings of the British Academy, 204(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. 171–92.
  16. ‘Roman History, Essex, and Late Elizabethan Political Culture’, in The Oxford Handbook of the Age of Shakespeare, ed. R. Malcolm Smuts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. 250-68.
  17. ‘”A Mere Historian”: Patrick Collinson and the Study of Literature’, History, 100 (2015), 609-25.
  18. ‘The Puritan, the Jesuit, and the Jacobean Succession’, in Susan Doran and Paulina Kewes (eds), Doubtful and Dangerous: The Question of Succession in Late Elizabethan England (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014), pp. 47-70.
  19. With Susan Doran, ‘Introduction: A Historiographical Perspective’, in ibid., pp. 1-19.
  20. With Susan Doran, ‘The Earlier Elizabethan Succession Question Revisited’, in ibid., pp. 20-44.
  21. ‘Marlowe, History, and Politics’, in Christopher Marlowe in Context, ed. Emily Bartels and Emma Smith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 138-54.
  22. ‘History Plays and the Royal Succession’, in The Oxford Handbook of Holinshed’s Chronicles, ed. Kewes, Archer, and Heal (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 493-509.
  23. With Ian W. Archer and Felicity Heal, ‘Prologue’, in ibid, pp. xxix-xxxvii.
  24. ‘”A fit memoriall for the times to come…”: Admonition and Topical Application in Mary Sidney’s Antonius and Samuel Daniel’s Cleopatra‘, Review of English Studies, 63 (2012), 243-64.
  25. ‘Henry Savile’s Tacitus and the Politics of Roman History in Late Elizabethan England’, Huntington Library Quarterly, 74: 4 (2011), pp. 515-51.
  26. ‘The Exclusion Crisis of 1553 and the Elizabethan Succession’, in Mary Tudor: New Perspectives, ed. Susan Doran and Thomas S. Freeman (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2011), pp. 49-61.
  27. ‘Godly Queens: The Royal Iconographies of Mary and Elizabeth’, in Tudor Queenship: The Reigns of Mary and Elizabeth, ed. Anna Whitelock and Alice Hunt (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010), pp. 47-62.
  28. ‘Two Queens, One Inventory: The Lives of Mary and Elizabeth Tudor’, Writing Lives: Biography and Textuality, Identity and Representation in Early Modern England, ed. Kevin Sharpe and Steven N. Zwicker (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 187-207.
  29. ‘Acts of Oblivion, Acts of Remembrance: Rhetoric, Law, and National Memory in Early Restoration England’, in Ritual, Routine, and Regime: Institutions of Repetition in Euro-American Cultures, 1650-1832, ed. Lorna Clymer (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006), pp. 103-31.
  30. ‘Greek and Roman Drama’ and ‘French Drama’, in The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, ed. Peter France and Stuart Gillespie (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 241-52 and 317-27 respectively.
  31. ‘Jewish History and Christian Providence in Elizabethan England: The Contexts of Thomas Legge’s Solymitana Clades (The Destruction of Jerusalem), c. 1579-88′, in Style: Essays on Renaissance Poetics and Culture, ed. Allen Michie and Eric Buckley (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2005), pp. 228-66.
  32. ‘Contemporary Europe in Elizabethan and Stuart Drama’, in Shakespeare and Renaissance Europe, ed. Andrew Hadfield and Paul Hammond (London: Nelson, 2004), pp. 150-92.
  33. ‘Dryden’s Theatre and the Passions of Politics’, in the Cambridge Companion to John Dryden, ed. Steven N. Zwicker (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 129-53.
  34. ‘The Elizabethan History Play: A True Genre?’, in A Companion to Shakespeare’s Works, vol. II: The Histories, ed. Richard Dutton and Jean E. Howard (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003), pp. 170-93.
  35. ‘Roman History and Early Stuart Drama: Thomas Heywood’s The Rape of Lucrece‘, English Literary Renaissance, 32 (2002), 239-67.
  36. ‘Julius Caesar in Jacobean England’, The Seventeenth Century, 17 (2002), 155-86.
  37. ‘Shakespeare’s Lives in Print, 1662-1821’, in Lives in Print: Biography and the Book Trade from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century, ed. Robin Myers, Michael Harris, and Giles Mandelbrote (London: Oak Knoll Press and the British Library, 2002), pp. 55-82.
  38. ‘”The State is out of Tune”: Nicholas Rowe’s Jane Shore and the Succession Crisis of 1713-1714’, Huntington Library Quarterly, 64 (2001), 301-21.
  39. ‘Otway, Lee and the Restoration History Play’, in A Companion to Restoration Drama, ed. Susan J. Owen (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001), pp. 355-77.
  40. ‘Plays as Property, 1660-1710’, in A Nation Transformed: England After the Restoration, ed. Alan Houston and Steven A. Pincus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 211-40.
  41. ‘”A Play, which I presume to call original“: Appropriation, Creative Genius, and Eighteenth-Century Playwriting’, Studies in the Literary Imagination, 34 (2001), 17-47.
  42. ‘Dryden and the Staging of Popular Politics’, in John Dryden: Tercentenary Essays, ed. Paul Hammond and David Hopkins (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000), pp. 57-91.
  43. ‘Shakespeare and New Drama’, in A Companion to Literature from Milton to Blake, ed. David Womersley (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000), pp. 575-88.
  44. ‘Gerard Langbaine’s “View of Plagiaries“: The Rhetoric of Dramatic Appropriation in the Restoration’, The Review of English Studies, n.s. 48 (1997), 2-18.
  45. ‘Between the “Triumvirate of wit” and the Bard: The English Dramatic Canon, 1660-1720’, in Texts and Cultural Change in Early Modern England, ed. Cedric Brown and Arthur F. Marotti (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1997), pp. 200-24.
  46. ‘”Give me the sociable Pocket-books”: Humphrey Moseley’s Serial Publication of Octavo Play Collections’, Publishing History, 38 (1995), 5-21.


Subject notes for courses taught at Jesus College:

See also Faculty of English website.