Dr Rachel Wilson

Research Fellow

+44 (0)113 343 0221

Summary: vicereines of Ireland; lord lieutenancy of Ireland; elite women; eighteenth-century Ireland and Britain; the Protestant Ascendancy; gender; politics; society; family; Richard Brinsley Sheridan

I am currently working as the Research Fellow on the Leverhulme funded Sheridan project, examining and reproducing the political works of Richard Brinsley Sheridan between 1780 and 1816 and am also a member of the Textual Histories group in the School for English. See below for further details on both. My personal research interests revolve around elite women in Ireland and Britain during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. I am especially interested in the political, social and cultural roles of the vicereines of Ireland, (the wives of the country’s Lords Lieutenant) between 1688 and 1801.



(2015): Elite Women in Ascendancy Ireland, 1690-1745: Imitation and Innovation (Boydell and Brewer, Woodbridge). Reviews available here, here, here, here and here. Available for purchase from (among others) the publisher and Amazon.

Journal Articles

(2014): ‘The Vicereines of Ireland and the Transformation of the Dublin Court, c. 1703–1737’, in The Court Historian, xix, no. 1 (2014), pp 3-28. The abstract for this article is available here, where the entire article may also be purchased.

Book Reviews

(2018, forthcoming) Review of Myles Campbell and William Derham (eds), Making Majesty: The Throne Room at Dublin Castle, A Cultural History (Irish Academic Press, Dublin, 2017). Reviewed in Eighteenth Century Ireland.

(May 2018, forthcoming) Review of Terence Dooley, Patrick Cosgrove, Karol Mullaney-Dignam (eds), Aspects of Irish Aristocratic Life: Essays on the Fitzgeralds and Carton House (U.C.D., Dublin, 2014). Reviewed in Irish Studies Review.

(Jan. 2018) Review of Karen Sonnelitter, Charity Movements in Eighteenth-Century Ireland: Philanthropy and Improvement (Woodbridge, Boydell and Brewer, 2016). Reviewed in History: The Journal of the Historical Association, ciii, issue 354, pages 158-159. Available to view here.

(2017) Review of Madeline Shanahan, Manuscript Recipe Books as Archaeological Objects: Text and Food in the Early Modern World (London, Lexington, 2014). Reviewed in Irish Studies Review, xxv, issue 3. Available to view here.

(2016) Review of Amy Prendergast, Literary Salons Across Britain and Ireland in the Long Eighteenth Century (London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). Reviewed in Reviews in History, no. 1897. Available to view here.

(2016) Review of Teresa Barnard (ed.), British Women and the Intellectual World in the Long Eighteenth Century (British Literature in Context in the Long Eighteenth Century) (Farnham, 2015). Reviewed in Women’s History, ii, issue 6.


(2017) 'A General State of Mourning' in History Today, lxvii, no. 3 (March), p. 7. Available to read here or purchase here.

(2017) biographical entry on ‘Lucy, Marchioness of Wharton, Malmesbury and Catherlough’ for the Herstory website.

(2011) Encyclopaedia entry entitled ‘Marriage settlements’ on Irish History Live website. Available to view here.

Academic conference and seminar papers

(2018) 'Truth, Lies and Fake News: the records of Richard Brinsley Sheridan's Parliamentary Speeches, 1780-1812' at the British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Annual Conference, St Hugh's College, Oxford, 03-05 January.

(2017) '"Our late most excellent Viceroy": Irish responses to the death of the Duke of Rutland in 1787' at the Eighteenth Century Ireland Society annual conference, Trinity College Dublin/Royal Irish Academy, 07-09 June.

(2017) 'The parliamentary voice: experiencing the speeches of Richard Brinsley Sheridan in the House of Commons' at the Eighteenth Century and Romantic Seminar series, University of Leeds, 21 March [Invited speaker].

(2017) ‘Education in Ascendancy Ireland, 1690-1745’, Education in the long eighteenth century seminar series, Institute of Historical Research, London, 25 February [Invited speaker].

(2016) 'Death of a viceroy: Irish responses to the death of the Duke of Rutland in 1787' at the North West Early Modern Seminar, University of Leeds, 12 October [Invited speaker].

(2015) ‘“Dancing and dice”: the court of the vicereines of Ireland, 1703–1746’ at Courts and Viceroys: Viceregal Courts in Comparative Perspectives, The Society for Court Studies conference, London, 15–16 June. [Invited speaker].

(2015) ‘Society Queens: the vicereines of Ireland at Dublin Castle, 1703–1746’ at the Dublin Court Culture Study Day, Queen’s University Belfast, 22 May [Invited speaker].

(2012) ‘My research so far’ at the Ireland and Modernity Workshop, Queen’s University Belfast, 11 May [Invited speaker].

(2012) ‘Materials, memories and mourning: the physical possessions associated with grieving amongst women in the Irish aristocracy c. 1692–1740’ at the Material Lives: Objects, Images, and Emotions in a World of Movement conference, Queen’s University Belfast, 9 March.

(2012) ‘Materials, memories and mourning: the physical possessions associated with grieving amongst women in the Irish aristocracy c. 1692–1740’ at the Irish History Students’ Association annual conference, National University of Ireland, Galway, 3 March.

(2011) ‘Women and marriage in the Irish aristocracy, c. 1692−1737’ at the Staff/postgraduate History Seminar Series, Queen’s University Belfast, 13 May.

Public engagement and impact activities

(2017) 'The parliamentary voice: experiencing Sheridan in the House of Commons', paper for public study day entitled Stafford's Radical MP: Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Satirist, Playwright, Orator, Staffordshire Record Office, 18 March.

(2016) Contributed biography of Lucy, Marchioness of Wharton and vicereine of Ireland to episode 64 of the Irish Times Women's Podcast as part of the Herstory movement. Available here.

Events organised

(2012) 'Heroes, Villains and Scapegoats: the Role of the Individual in Shaping Ireland’s Past' international, interdisciplinary conference held at Queen’s University Belfast, 23–24 November.

(2011) 'The Ideal Woman: Interrogating Femininity Across Disciplines and Time' held at Queen’s University Belfast, 11–12 March. An international, multi-disciplinary conference organised in recognition of the one hundredth anniversary of International Women’s Day. Further information available here.

Sheridan project

Website: www.leeds.ac.uk/sheridanproject

Twitter: @SheridanProject

Textual Histories Group

Website: https://textualhistories.wordpress.com/

Personal Twitter