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Pastoralism and the British Problem

Dr Stewart Mottram, IMEMS Research Lecturer in English, was awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship in order to undertake research at the Department of English, Aberystwyth on a book-length project, Pastoral: Writing Reformation England and Wales.

This ground-breaking project investigates the influence of Gildas – the sixth-century British historian – on key pastoral texts by Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, and William Browne. While Gildas is an acknowledged influence on early modern English and Welsh Protestant writing, his influence on Renaissance pastoral literature has been almost entirely overlooked. This project reads Gildas into pastoral literature alongside Protestant writing, catapulting Gildas into the Renaissance cultural limelight. Gildas is a key figure linking English with Welsh Protestantism. Acknowledging the full extent of his influence on the English and Welsh Renaissance promises to have wide-ranging, interdisciplinary implications for British studies, challenging recent colonial approaches to early modern England’s relations with the rest of Britain.

For more information, contact Stewart on


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