Dr Emily Mayne

Postdoctoral Fellow


Postdoctoral Fellow, October 2019 to December 2020

Project: Locating Hercules: Mythology and the Dynamics of Allusion in Early Modern English Writing


Dr. Mayne works on early modern writing in English (and occasionally in Italian). Her research focuses on drama and performance, mythology and classical reception in the Renaissance, and archives, the history of the book, and material history more generally. She has published on early modern reception and translation of Seneca and early modern book history.

After completing her D.Phil. at the University of Oxford in 2017, Dr. Mayne was appointed to a postdoctoral position at the University of East Anglia, where she worked on the project ‘Accessing the Records of Early English Drama’ with Professor Matthew Woodcock. She is co-editor of Records of Early English Drama: Norwich, 1540-1642 with Professor Woodcock. Including records of civic entertainments; parish festivities; travelling theatre companies’ visits; and sources relating to the material conditions of playing in early modern England, such as props, costumes, and staging, the edition uncovers the histories of drama, performance and festivity in early modern Norwich, and the local and regional contexts in which the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries was performed. Dr. Mayne is also editing an ‘Issues in Review’ for Early Theatre on medieval and renaissance sources and conceptions of ‘performance’.

Work at IASH

Dr. Mayne will be using her time at IASH to complete the manuscript of her first monograph, Locating Hercules: Mythology and the Dynamics of Allusion in Early Modern English Writing. This book develops a new way of understanding early modern engagement with classical mythology in English writing c. 1545-1600, through a case study of the receptions of the Graeco-Roman hero Hercules in early modern England. The book draws upon a wide range of early modern writing, from histories and chorographies, local and regional plays and entertainments, Shakespeare’s plays, and Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene, as well as classical and post-classical sources for writing ‘myths’ in narrative.

She is also greatly looking forward to spending time with the fabulous collections of the National Library of Scotland.


'Presenting Seneca in Print: Elizabethan Translations and Seneca His Tenne Tragedies', Review of English Studies 70 (2019), pp. 823-46

‘John Studley’s Will’, Notes & Queries, 65 (2018), pp. 127-30

'With bloody verses charmd? Spenser and Seneca', Spenser Review, 50 (Winter, 2020)

'"An huge great stone": Two Types of Allusion in The Faerie Queene', in Imitative Series and Clusters from Classical to Early Modern Literature, ed. Colin Burrow, Stephen Harrison, Martin McLaughlin, and Elisabetta Tarantino (Berlin: De Gruyter, forthcoming 2020)