Dr Adam Horsley

Research interests

My research interests can be divided into two broad categories. First, the critical reception of subversive, unorthodox or ‘libertin’ texts in their day, with a particular focus on their treatment by the early modern French criminal justice system and, to a lesser extent, religious and literary polemicists. Second, the study of texts from the perspective of material bibliography; that is to say, the history of text as material and cultural object, and its various spaces of readership and dissemination. My research is characterised by a close attention to the relationship between texts and their cultural environment, whilst demonstrating the relevance of early modern texts to modern concerns pertaining to otherness, persecution and exclusion.  

Within the field of seventeenth-century French studies, I am also interested in libertin literature more widely (particularly the works of Théophile de Viau, Cyrano de Bergerac and François Maynard), early realist texts, satirical and obscene poetry, and utopian literature.