Dr Freyja Cox Jensen

Research interests

  • Early modern intellectual history
  • Early modern cultural and social history
  • The history of the book
  • Reception studies, especially classical reception
  • Literary studies
  • Practice-based research as a tool for historical study
  • The relationship between performance and print in the early modern world

I am currently completing a monograph about the production, dissemination, and consumption of ancient history in early modern England, firmly situated in its trans-national context.

Research collaborations

With Prof. John Pitcher (St John's College, Oxford), I am working on a study of a small group of early modern stationers, analysing the capital investment they made in publishing.  Between them, our fraternity of publishers - William Ponsonby (d.1604), his brother-in-law, Simon Waterson (1562-1635), who inherited much of Ponsonby’s stock, and Edward Blount (1565-1632), who was apprenticed to Ponsonby in 1578 for a period of ten years - published a substantial sample of over 400 books.  These were dedicated to prominent individuals in public life and at court, and include works by Daniel, Spenser, Sidney, and Shakespeare.

Our project traces the financial choices made by these men, using a new statistical tool to estimate the cost of printing each book.  We are exploring what the publishing decisions of these men have to tell us about the social status of publishers and writers, and about the question of genre and the formation of the English literary canon.  Our findings will appear in a monograph entitled, Publishers and Writers in Shakespeare's England.