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Name: Thomas Clifton

PhD: English

Thesis Title: The Function of Meditational Poetry in its Prose Context: 1660 - 1678


Thesis Description:

My thesis analyses the relationship between poetry and prose in the meditational writing of Thomas Traherne, Katherine Austen, Elizabeth Delaval, Susanna Hopton, and John Flavel. Writing during the fraught period, in political and religious terms, of the Cavalier Parliament and the imposition of the Clarendon Code, these writers incorporate poetry into their prose for a variety of functions and effects. The thesis considers the forms, modes, audiences, purposes, and materiality of these texts, and the extent to which these texts might be considered public or private.


Supervisors and Institution(s): 

Hugh Addlington (Uob), Peter Auger (UoB), Andrew Hodgson (UoB)


Publications (please include full details with page nos. or web links):

Book Review: 'Dodd, Elizabeth S. and Gorman, Cassandra, eds., Thomas Traherne and Seventeenth‐Century Thought. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2016.' in Renaissance Studies, Vol. 33, Iss. 3, June (Wiley: 2019), pp. 479 - 481.


Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:

2018 - Present Founding Chair and Administrator: Literature of the Early Modern and Medieval (LEMMAE: PGR Research Group at UoB) 

2018 - 2019 Research Administrator: Centre for Literary Editing and the Materiality of the Text (Research Group at UoB)

2018 - Tutor: Academic Writing Advisory Service (UoB College of Arts)

2018 (Summer) and 2019 - Language Support Tutor: Birmingham International Academy


12-13/09/2019 Paper Addressed to Rethinking Objects: New Directions for Pre-modern Materiality Studies (Newcastle): 'Inspired by Book M: Enhancing Object Studies through Experiencing their Production Processes'

17/05/2019 Paper Addressed to CLEMT Summer Symposium 'The Matterterial Text' (UoB): '‘When I view over the assurances and hopes I have had in this book of my meditations’: Letters as a Site of Self-Reflection in Katherine Austen’s Book M'

28/03/2019 Paper Addressed to EMREM (UoB PGR Research Group): 'Interpreting the Composition of Katherine Austen's Book M (1629 - 1682)

05/12/2018 Paper Addressed to LEMMAE: 'Outsiders and the Book of Common Prayer'

Other Research Interests:

  • I am interested generally in 17th century literary culture with a particular focus on devotional poetry.
    I have a growing interest in re-creative approaches to early modern texts as a means to unlock research questions, to engage learning, and to recover the reflective and therapeutic potential of these forms of writing. My research papers on Katherine Austen have addressed these interests. Furthermore, in Spring 2019 I audited the masters module on Collaborative Editing at UoB (Elsa Braekken Payne)




University email address:


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