Edward Stein, Trinity

Degree: PhD
Course: English
Supervisor: Prof Jason Scott-Warren
Dissertation Title:

REN Styling the Self: John Taylor, the 'Water-Poet' and the Project of Style

Biographical Information

I read English Language and Literature at Keble College, Oxford, where I won a Gibbs Prize for an essay on early modern true crime pamphlets. I then took the M.St. in English Literatue 1550-1700 at Merton College, Oxford, where I wrote a dissertation on the concept of liquidity in the pamphlets of John Taylor, the 'Water-Poet' and in wider early modern culture, ranging between 'popular' and 'elite' modes. I have presented at conferences in Oxford (Lady Margaret Hall) and Newcastle (Northumbria University) on themes relating to the embededness of Taylor's writing - in the first case, in the context of contemporary discourses about the balance of trade, and in the second, in the context of riverside labour and the 'fluvial' imagination.

I am continuing to cultivate my interest in 'popular' literature and  in the career of John Taylor in particular by examining Taylor's place in the history of labouring-class writing and his mutual fashioning (in collaboration with interlocutors in print and on the stage) of a distinct labouring-class poetics. Scholars of labouring-class poetry of later periods have often produced essentialist readings of poetry by figures originating from outside the traditional educational system. They have often assumed that their work should 'speak back' to regimes of socio-economic privilege - regimes which are usually conflated with the regulatory systems of literary convention and genre. I am using a prehistorical methodology (derived from Terence Cave and others) to test how far such assumptions can be extended to Taylor's writing, and more broadly, to writing by labouring-class figures across the early modern period.

Research Interests

Labouring-class writing; literature-as-labour; self-fashioning; notions of style; social history; history from below; history of the book; ecocriticism.