Dr Deirdre Serjeantson

Senior Lecturer
Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Dr Deirdre Serjeantson
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872615

  • Location

    5NW.4.9, Colchester Campus



Deirdre Serjeantson was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, and at Trinity College Dublin. She joined the Department in 2009 after a tenure as Munby Fellow in Bibliography at the University of Cambridge, where she was also a Visiting Fellow at Darwin College. Her chief research interests are in the religious sonnet sequence and renaissance petrarchism, and in particular, the censorship, transmission and polemical use of Petrarchs Babylon Sonnets in sixteenth-century Europe. She also works on theories of translation; on early-modern Irish and Scottish writing; on women's poetry, and on book history. She has published articles on connections between Scottish reformation aesthetics and English protestant sonnet sequences, on RIchard Nugent's Irish sonnet cycle, Cynthia (1604), and on the relationship of sonnets and the biblical Book of Psalms. Her article on Anne Lock won the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women's prize for Best Essay (2013) and an essay on Milton's Protestant Petrarchism was the Review of English Studies Editor's Choice for best article on an early modern subject (2015). She is a regular contributor to the Dublin Review of Books, and one of her long-form essays for that journal - on Clive James' translation of Dante - is included in Space to Think (2016), the DRB's tenth anniversary anthology. She is also interested in representations of the renaissance in historical fiction, particularly the works of Maurice Walsh and Dorothy Dunnett. Her recent paper on Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles, delivered to the Dunnett Society in Oxford and in Edinburgh, will appear in the December 2016 edition of the Society's journal, Whispering Gallery.


  • MA Oxon

  • PhD Dublin

Research and professional activities

Research interests

book history and manuscript studies

early-modern translation

womens writing


Irish and Scottish writing in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

historical fiction

Dorothy Dunnett

Teaching and supervision

  • Origins and Transformations in Literature and Drama (LT111)

  • Introduction to Rhetoric (LT192)

  • Early Modern Literature (LT201)

  • Writing in Society: The Art of Communication (LT705)

  • Independent Literature Project (LT831)

  • Early Modern to Eighteenth Century Literature (LT923)

  • Performing Shakespeare (TH205)

  • Research Methods in Literary and Cultural Analysis (LT901)


Journal articles (5)

Serjeantson, D., (2017). 'That Private Labyrinth': the books that made Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond. Whispering Gallery. 134, 20-27

Serjeantson, D., (2015). The Book of Psalms and the early modern sonnet. Renaissance Studies. 29 (4), 632-649

Serjeantson, D., (2014). Milton and the Tradition of Protestant Petrarchism. The Review of English Studies. 65 (272), 831-852

Serjeantson, D., (2014). Talking Heads. Dublin Review of Books

Serjeantson, D., (2013). A single volume bound by love. Dublin Review of Books. 38

Book chapters (7)

Serjeantson, DC., (2018). Richard Verstegan and the symbol of Babylon in the early-modern period. In: Beyond Greece and Rome: Reading the Near East in Early Modern Europe. Editors: Grogan, J., . Oxford University Press

Serjeantson, DC., (2016). A single volume bound by love: Clive James’s Dante. In: Space to Think: Ten years of the Dublin Review of Books. Editors: Earls, M. and O'Doherty, E., . The Dublin Review of Books. 160- 171

Serjeantson, D., (2013). Richard Nugent's Cynthia (1604): a Catholic sonnet sequence in London, Westmeath, and Spanish Flanders. In: Region, Religion and English Renaissance Literature. Editors: Coleman, D., . Ashgate. 9781472408259

Serjeantson, D., (2013). Translation, Authorship, and Gender: The Case of the Jane Seager's Divine Prophecies of the Ten Sibills. In: Elizabethan Translation and Literary Culture. Editors: Schmidt, G., . Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Press. 227- 254. 9783110293029

Serjeantson, D., (2012). 'Anne Lock's Anonymous Friend: 'A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner' and the Problem of Ascription'. In: Enigma and Revelation in Renaissance Literature. Editors: Cooney, H. and Sweetnam, M., . Four Courts Press. 51- 72. 9781846822810

Serjeantson, D., (2009). English bards and Scotch poetics: Scotland's literary influence and sixteenth-century English religious verse. In: Literature and the Scottish Reformation. Editors: Gribben, C. and Mullan, D., . Ashgate. 161- 189. 9780754667155

Serjeantson, D. and N� Chuillean�in, E., (2008). The Petrarch they tried to ban: Francesco Guicciardini and Petrarch?s Babylon sonnets. In: Translation and Censorship Patterns of Communication and Interference. Editors: N� Chuillean�in, E., � Cuillean�in, C. and Parris, D., . Four Courts Press. 93- 105. 9781846821431

+44 (0) 1206 872615


5NW.4.9, Colchester Campus