Jul 15, 2020
Early Modern Bookscapes
Play • 31 min

You’ve heard of landscapes and seascapes, but have you ever head of bookscapes? Today’s researcher investigates the history of reading and attempts to unravel the complex relationship between women and written text in Early Modern Britain. Dr. Leah Knight from the Department of English Language and Literature spoke with us about textual culture and her digital project featuring the unpublished manuscript of 17th century poet Hester Pulter.

Dr. Knight studies early modern English poetry, prose, and the culture they emerge from. She’s authored two books, Of Books and Botany in Early Modern England and Reading Green in Early Modern England, which were both awarded the annual book prize of the British Society for Literature and Science. 

More recently, Dr. Knight has been investigating the history of reading, examining the evidence of reading materials, habits, and experiences associated with Anne Clifford (1590-1676). 

She has also turned to the long-neglected manuscripts of the poet Hester Pulter (1605-1678) and has launched a digital project with Dr. Wendy Wall of Northwestern University that was selected as the year’s best project in digital scholarship by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender in 2018.  

Find a full transcript at


Of Books and Botany in Early Modern England: Sixteenth-Century Plants and Print Culture (Routledge, 2009) 

Reading Green in Early Modern England (Routledge, 2014)

Women’s Bookscapes in Early Modern Britain: Reading, Ownership, Circulation (University of Michigan Press, 2018; edited with Micheline White, and Elizabeth Sauer)

The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making ( co-directed and -edited with Wendy Wall, 2018)

Digital project gives voice to 17th century female poet (Brock News, 19 November 2018)

Leah Knight faculty profile

Department of English Language & Literature 


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Foreword is hosted and produced by Alison Innes for the Faculty of Humanities at Brock University.

Sound design and editing by Serena Atallah. Theme music is by Khalid Imam.

Special thanks to Brock University’s MakerSpace and Brock University Marketing and Communications for studio and web support.

This podcast is financially supported by the Faculty of Humanities at Brock University.

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