About Jesus College/Our community/ People
Professor Susan Doran

Roles and subjects

Senior Research Fellow



Academic Background

BA Oxon, PhD, FRHS, Honorary Fellow of the Historical Association

After reading History at St Anne’s College, Oxford, I obtained a PGCE, and afterwards taught at St Paul’s Girls’ School, London. My doctorate at UCL was in early modern history, my thesis a political biography of an Elizabethan nobleman (Thomas Radcliffe 3rd earl of Sussex 1526-1583). Moving to St Mary’s University College (London), I taught a wide range of early-modern British and European History courses, and ran the history programme for a number of years. When I left in 2001, I was Reader in History. I returned to Oxford in 2002 as a lecturer in Christ Church, and have been a Fellow at St Benet’s Hall since 2004. In 2009 I took up a position as Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, while still teaching early-modern history at St Benet’s.

Undergraduate Teaching

I teach Early Modern British and European History c.1400-1700

Postgraduate Teaching

Politics, religion and culture in the reigns of Elizabeth I of England and James I of Britain.

Research Interests

I have carried out research into many aspects of Elizabeth I’s reign: religion, the marriage and succession question, foreign relations, and the royal image. I am now working on the accession of James I and his first decade as King of Britain. This new book (for OUP) entitled Regime Change focuses on the continuities and changes brought about in personnel and policies from 1603 to 1612, the year of the deaths of Robert Cecil and Prince Henry. As with previous research, I am examining a wide range of political, literary and visual sources, and my approach will be interdisciplinary.

Selected Publications


  1. The Connell Guide to the Tudors (2017).
  2. Elizabeth I and her Circle  (OUP, Hardback 2015, Paperback 2018).
  3. The Tudor Chronicles (Quercus, 2008).
  4. Mary Queen of Scots: An Illustrated Life (British Library, 2007).
  5. Elizabeth I. British Library Historic Lives Series (St Martin’s Press, 2003).
  6. Princes Pastors and People: The Church and Religion in England 1529-1689 co-authored with Christopher Durston (Routledge, 2nd revised edition 2003, 1st edition 1991).
  7. Elizabeth I and Foreign Policy (Routledge, 2000).
  8. England and Europe in the Sixteenth Century (Palgrave, 1999).
  9. Monarchy and Matrimony: The Courtships of Elizabeth I (Routledge, 1996).
  10. England and Europe 1485-1603 (Longman, 2nd revised edition 1996, 1st edition 1986).
  11. Elizabeth I and Religion (Routledge, 1994).

Edited Books

  1. Doubtful and Dangerous: The Question of Succession in Late Elizabethan England co-edited with Paulina Kewes (MUP, 2014).
  2. The Royal River: Power Pageantry and the Thames (Scala, 2012).
  3. Mary Tudor: Old and New Perspectives co-edited with Thomas S. Freeman (Palgrave, 2011).
  4. The Elizabethan World co-edited with Normal Jones (Routledge, 2010).
  5. Henry VIII: Man and Monarch (British Library, 2009).
  6. The Tudors and Stuarts on Film co-edited with Thomas S. Freeman (Palgrave, 2009).
  7. Tudor England and Its Neighbours co-edited with Glenn Richardson (Palgrave, 2005).
  8. Elizabeth: The Exhibition at the National Maritime Museum (Random House/Chatto and Windus, 2003).
  9. The Myth of Elizabeth I co-edited with Thomas S. Freeman (Palgrave, 2003).

Journal Articles and Chapters in Books

  1. ‘1603: A Jagged Succession’, Historical Research (forthcoming).
  2. ‘A Tale of Two Monarchs: Elizabeth I, James I and the English Reformation’ in Deutschland und Großbritannien im Reformationsgeschehen edited by F.L Kroll, G. Redworth, et al (Berlin, 2018)
  3. ‘Did Elizabeth I’s Gender Really Matter?’, in Queens Matter: Early Modern Studies in Honour of Carole Levin, edited by Anna Riehl Bertolet (Palgrave, 2017).
  4. ‘Monarchy and Masculinity in Early Modern England’, in Handbook of Masculinity and Political Culture, edited by Christopher Fletcher and Rachel Moss (Palgrave, 2017).
  5. ‘Elizabeth I and Counsel’, in The Politics of Counsel in England and Scotland 1286-1707 edited by Jacqueline Rose (Bristish Academy, OUP, 2016)
  6. ‘Elizabeth I, Joseph Campbell, and the Nine Worthies’ in Die Inszenierung der Heroischen Monarchie, edited by Martin Wrede (De Gruyter, Oldenbourg, 2014).
  7. ‘Queen Elizabeth I of England: Monarchical Leadership in Action’, in Leadership and Elizabethan Culture; edited by Peter Kaufman (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
  8. ‘Tudors Kings and Queens’, in The Oxford Handbook of Holinshed’s Chronicles, edited by Ian Archer, Felicity Heal and PAulina Kewes (OUP, 2012).
  9. ‘Elizabeth I and her Favourites: The Case of Sir Walter Ralegh’, in Elizabeth I and the ”Sovereign Arts”, ed. Donald Stump, Linda Shenk and Carole Levin (University of Arizona, 2011).
  10. ‘Elizabeth I: An Old Testament Queen’, in Rethinking Tudor Queenship: Mary and Elizabeth, edited by Anna Whitelock and Alice Hunt (Palgrave, 2010).
  11. ‘Elizabeth I and Catherine de’ Medici’, in Contending Kingdoms: England and France, 1430-1700, edited by Glenn Richardson (Ashgate, 2007).
  12. ‘James VI and the Succession’, in James VI and I: Ideas, Authority and Government, edited by Ralph Houlbrooke (Ashgate, 2006).
  13. ‘The Politics of Renaissance Europe’, in Shakespeare and Renaissance Europe, edited by Paul Hammond and Andrew Hadfield (Arden Press, 2004).
  14. ‘Three late-Elizabethan Succession Tracts’, in The Struggle for the Succession in Late Elizabethan England: Politics, Polemics and Cultural Representations, edited by Jean-Christophe Mayer (University Paul-Valery, Montpellier, 2004).
  15. ‘Elizabeth I’s Religion: the Evidence of her Letters’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 51 (2000).
  16. ‘Revenge her Foul and Most Unnatural Murder? The impact of Mary Stewart’s execution on Anglo-Scottish relations’, History, 85 (2000).
  17. ‘Why Did Elizabeth Not Marry?’ in Dissing Elizabeth: Negative Representations of Gloriana, edited by Julia M.Walker (Duke University Press, 1998).
  18. ‘Juno versus Diana: Elizabeth I’s Marriage in Plays and Entertainments 1561-81’, The Historical Journal, 38 (1995).
  19. ‘Politics and Religion at Elizabeth I’s Court: The Habsburg Marriage Negotiations 1559-1567’, English Historical Review 104 (1989).
  20. ‘The Finances of an Elizabethan Nobleman: Thomas Radcliffe, Third Earl of Sussex’, Historical Research, 61 (1988).

Other Information

I am also a Senior Research Fellow at St Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford

I do different kinds of media work including podcasts and interviews for TV and radio programmes. I have also edited catalogues for exhibitions, most recently one on Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots to be held at the British Library in April 2021.

Family and Hobbies

I am married with two children and three grandchildren. My main interests are cinema, theatre, politics, and reading detective stories.


Subject notes for courses taught at Jesus College:

See also Faculty of History website.