Dr Alison Searle

Dr Alison Searle

University Academic Fellow in Textual Studies and Digital Editing

+44 (0)113 343 4743

Summary: renaissance drama | early modern religious dissent | performance | scholarly editing | editor of James Shirley's The Sisters & co-general editor of Richard Baxter's letters for Oxford UP | @aasearle

Location: 5.101 Cavendish Rd

Teaching Commitments: ENGL2029: Tutor for Renaissance Literature; Final Year Project: Contributing to Textual Editing Stream


Alison Searle joined the University of Leeds as a University Academic Fellow in Textual Studies and Digital Editing in September 2016. She is co-general editor of The Complete Correspondence of Richard Baxter (forthcoming in nine volumes with Oxford University Press) and editor of The Sisters (1642) by James Shirley (also for OUP). Her current research project examines the performance of religious nonconformity in seventeenth-century Britain. Alison was an ARC DECRA postdoctoral fellow at the University of Sydney (2012-2016), an AHRC Research Associate on the Complete Works of James Shirley at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge (2008-2012), and a Leverhulme Visiting Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London (2006). She completed her BA (Hons) in English Literature (2002) and her PhD (2005), also in English Literature, at the University of Sydney.

Research Interests 

- Religious nonconformity and dissent

- Renaissance drama

- Seventeenth-century epistolary culture

- Transatlantic puritan literary traditions

- Theories of the imagination

- Literature and theology 

 Postgraduate Supervision

I am happy to supervise postgraduate students in the following areas:

- Early modern literature

- Literature and religion

- Textual studies and editing

- Digital humanities

- Epistolary culture and theory 



‘The Eyes of Your Heart’: Literary and Theological Trajectories of Imagining Biblically (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2008).

Editions (contracted and forthcoming)

Alison Searle and Johanna Harris, gen. eds, The Correspondence of Richard Baxter, 9 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2018-22)

James Shirley, The Sisters, ed., Alison Searle in The Oxford Complete Works of James Shirley, gen. eds, Eugene Giddens, Teresa Grant and Barbara Ravelhofer, 10 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Alison Searle and Jennifer Young, eds, The AHRC Electronic Old-spelling Edition of the Complete Works of James Shirley gen. eds, Eugene Giddens and Teresa Grant (London: King’s College, forthcoming 2017).

Online Exhibition

Baxter Quatercentenary Exhibition (2015). United Kingdom: Early Modern Letters Online, Cultures of Knowledge.


Religious Nonconformity and Performance in Britain (c. 1620-1680) prototype database schema (2014).

Chapters in Scholarly Collections

‘Bunyan and the Word’, ed., Michael Davies, A Handbook of Bunyan Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, in press). 

‘Exiles at Home’, eds, Andrew Hiscock and Helen Wilcox, The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Literature and Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

'Performing Religious Nonconformity: Conversion, Debate and the Republic of Letters', eds, A. R. Cross, P. J. Morden & I. M. Randall, Pathways and Patterns in History (London: The Baptist Historical Society, 2015).

‘Ben Jonson and Religion’, ed., Eugene Giddens, A Handbook of Jonson Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).

‘Women, Marriage and Agency in Restoration Dissent’, eds, Sarah Apetrei and Hannah Smith, Religion and Women in Britain, c. 1660-1760 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2014).

‘Conversion, Incarnation, Performance: Theology and the Future of Imagination’, eds, David Starling and Trevor Cairney, Theology and the Future (London: Bloomsbury, 2014).

‘Writing Authority in the Interregnum: The Pastoral Letters of Richard Baxter’, eds, Anne Dunan- Page and Clotilde Prunier, Debating the Faith: Religion and Letter-Writing in Great Britain, 1550-1800 (Springer: International Archives of the History of Ideas, 2013).

‘Conversion in James Shirley’s St Patrick for Ireland’, eds, Lieke Stelling, Harald Hendrix and Todd Richardson, The Turn of the Soul: Representations of Religious Conversion in Early Modern Art and Literature (Intersections: Yearbook for Early Modern Studies, Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands, 2012).

‘Narrative, Metaphor and Myth in C. S. Lewis’s testimonial novel Till We Have Faces’ in Oral and Written Narratives and Cultural Identities: Interdisciplinary Approaches, eds, F. C. Fagundes and M. F. Blayer (New York: Peter Lang, 2007).

‘Tolkien and Time: The Fantastic Art of Consolation, Endurance, Escape’, eds, Jan Lloyd et al., Art and Time (Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2007).

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

'"a kind of agonie in my thoughts": writing puritan and non-conformist women's pain in 17th-century England', Medical Humanities 44.2 (2018). Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/medhum-2017-011407

'Interpreting the Event: Baptism, Networks and Polemic in Commonwealth England', The Seventeenth Century, published online 17 October 2017. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/0268117X.2017.1385515

‘Letters: Emergence, Interaction, Transcendence’, Appositions: Studies in Renaissance/Early Modern Literature & Culture 1 (2008).

“Though I am a stranger to you by face, yet in neere bonds by faith’: A Transatlantic Puritan Republic of Letters’, Early American Literature 43.2 (2008).

‘The Role of Missions in Things Fall Apart and Nervous Conditions’, Literature and Theology 21.1 (2007).

‘The Certainty of the Worlds of Spirits: Richard Baxter’s Prophetic Voice’, The Glass, 19 (2007).

‘Fantastical Fact, Home or Other? The Imagined ‘Medieval’ in C. S. Lewis’, Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Mythopoeic Literature, 25.3-4 (2007).

‘The Moral Imagination: Biblical Imperatives, Narrative and Hermeneutics in Pride and Prejudice’, Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature 59.1 (2006).

‘An Idolatrous Imagination? Biblical Theology and Romanticism in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre’, Christianity and Literature 56.1 (2006).

‘‘My Souls Anatomiste’: Richard Baxter, Katherine Gell and Letters of the Heart’, Early Modern Literary Studies, 12.2 (2006).

‘The Biblical and Imaginative ‘Interiority’ of Samuel Rutherford’, Dalhousie Review 85.2 (2005).

‘Theology, Genre and Romance in Richard Baxter and Harriet Beecher Stowe’, Religion and Literature 37.1 (2005).

‘Biblical Aesthetics and The Pilgrim’s Progress’, Journal of Literature and Aesthetics 14.2 (2004).

‘Which Model? Whose Measure?: Sexuality, Morality and Power in Measure for Measure and Basilicon Doron’, Philament 1.1 (2003).