Dr Chloe Preedy

Research interests

My work focuses mainly on the ways in which early modern drama engaged with and responded to sixteenth- and seventeenth-century developments in the history of ideas. I am particularly interested in questions of belief and contemporary philosophy. My first book, Marlowe's Literary Scepticism: Politic Religion and Post-Reformation Polemicexplored the relationship between Christopher Marlowe's exposure to decades of inter-confessional antagonism and the sceptical attitudes toward religious belief that predominate in his poetry and his dramatic writings. In related articles, I have also explored Marlowe's literary engagement with contemporary debates about miracles and the disputed issue of divine-right monarchy. My interest in early modern expressions of scepticism led me to consider the many allusions to classical philosophy and classical belief systems within sixteenth- and seventeenth-century drama, which recently culminated in two pieces on the role of prayer in early modern theatrical performance, and the influence that female education had on contemporary dramatic narratives of revenge. My current book project investigates how early modern English playwrights negotiated their role in writing for London's new purpose-built theatres, and the ways in which they conceptualised their relationship to and ownership of the fictional sphere of performance within these theatres: my research focuses in particular on discourses of martial conquest, the liminal airy spaces of the theatre, and contemporary responses to classical and theoretical models of authorship. I am also co-editing Marlowe's The Jew of Malta, with Professor Bill Sherman, for Arden Early Modern Drama.