Dr Stewart Mottram

Lecturer in English Literature

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

01482 465597

Stewart Mottram is author of Ruin and Reformation in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Marvell, out with Oxford University Press in 2019. 

Stewart’s research explores writerly responses to the violence and vandalism of religious reformation in the early modern period (1500-1700). His work has a particular focus on the writing of the Hull poet and politician, Andrew Marvell (1621-78). 

Stewart has published widely on reformation themes in early modern literature, in journals including Spenser Studies and The Seventeenth Century. His ongoing research into Andrew Marvell has informed several recent BBC Radio programmes, for BBC Radio 4 (Ramblings, 2016) and BBC Radio 3 (Free Thinking, 2017). Stewart’s first book, Empire and Nation in early English Renaissance Literature, was published in 2008 and he is also co-editor of Writing Wales, from the Renaissance to Romanticism (2012).

Stewart’s latest project – Picturing Marvell– combines the disciplines of literary criticism with art history in its focus on the many lost portraits of Andrew Marvell, and on the culture of portrait painting that Marvell’s poetry and prose writing reflects. 

Follow Stewart on Twitter @RenRuins



Research Interests

  • Literature and religion across the long Reformation in Britain and Ireland (1520-1688)

  • Ruins and receptions of the late medieval past in early modern literature

  • Literature and the visual arts

  • Edmund Spenser

  • Andrew Marvell

Research groups

FACE Heritage and Memory Research Group (lead facilitator)



2019. Ruin and Reformation in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Marvell. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 256 pp. ISBN 9780198836384

Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature, Studies in Renaissance Literature, 25. D.S. Brewer, Cambridge. xii + 248 pp (2008).

Books edited

Writing Wales, from the Renaissance to Romanticism, edited with Sarah Prescott, Ashgate, Farnham. xii + 232 pp, co-author of the Introduction, pp. 1-17, and sole author of Chapter 5, pp. 91-107 (2012).

Articles in refereed journals

2018. The religious geography of Marvell’s ‘An Horatian Ode’: Popery, presbytery, and parti-coloured picts. The Seventeenth Century33.4: 441-61

2018. ‘With guiltles blood oft stained’: Spenser’s Ruines of Timeand the saints of St Albans. Spenser Studies, 31/32: 533-56

2017. Brief reflections: the marble surfaces of Marvell’s sepulchral verse.Journal of the Northern Renaissance, 8, special issue, Kevin Killeen and Liz Oakley-Brown (eds.): 1-26

2008. “An Empire of itself”: Arthur as Icon of an English Empire, 1509-1547. In: Arthurian Literature, 25, Elizabeth Archibald and David F. Johnson (eds.): 153-174

2007. ‘Empire, Exile, and England’s “British Problem”: Recent Approaches to Spenser’s Shepheardes Calender as a Colonial and Postcolonial Text’. Literature Compass, 4.4: 1059-1077

2005. ‘Reading the rhetoric of nationhood in two Reformation pamphlets by Richard Morison and Nicholas Bodrugan’. Renaissance Studies, 19.4: 523-540

2005. ‘Imagining England in Richard Morison’s pamphlets against the Pilgrimage of Grace’. Comitatus, 36: 41-67

Full list


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

Module List

Level 4

  • Approaches to Poetry (module leader)

  • Travels in Text and Time (module leader)

Level 6

  • Playing God: Late Medieval Drama, from Page to Stage (module leader)
  • Dissertation

Level 7

  • Medieval and Renaissance Intertextualities

Research PhDs

Dr Mottram welcomes applications from PhD students in the following broad areas:

  • Literature and religion: medieval to early modern

  • Representing the medieval in early modern literature

  • Writing empire and nation in late medieval / early modern England and Wales

  • Literature and the visual arts

  • John Bale and early Tudor drama

  • Edmund Spenser

  • Andrew Marvell

Completed PhDs

Supervised the following projects to successful completion in recent years:

  • Kaylara Ann Reed (as first supervisor), Writing Reform in 14th-century English Romance (2017). External examiner, Professor Raluca Radulescu (Bangor).
  • Amy Albudri (as second supervisor),Phantasmal Morgans and Other Women (2016). External examiner, Dr Rob Gossedge (Cardiff).

Current PhD supervisions 

Currently second supervising a NECAH-funded project on early modern English medicine and drama.

Teaching awards and accolades

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2017)

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Leeds)

  • MA (Leeds)

  • PhD (Leeds)

External roles

  • Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA): October 2015.

  • Member of the editorial board (early modern English and Welsh literatures) for the Literary Encyclopedia (January 2016 -)

Awards and accolades

  • AHRC Early Career Leadership Fellowship (2014-2015) for the project Representing Ruins in English Renaissance Literature.

  • Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (2008-10) for the project Pastoralism and the British Problem.