Researchers at UCD


Sarah Prescott


College of Arts and Celtic Studies Administration Office
Room A108
UCD College of Arts and Humanites
Room A108, Newman Building
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4

Tel: 7168591


My major contribution to scholarship is in the fields of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century women's writing and early modern and eighteenth-century Welsh writing in English. I studied for my first degree in English Literature and Related Literature at the University of York where I first became engaged with women's writing of the eighteenth century by choosing to write a third-year research dissertation on this topic. This interest led me to study for my PhD on early eighteenth-century women novelists and feminist literary history in the School of English at the University of Exeter under the supervision of Professor Jane Spencer. While studying at Exeter, I also worked with Professor Spencer on a British Academy funded project on eighteenth-century women's periodical literature. I joined UCD in 2016 as Principal of the College of Arts and Humanities from Aberystwyth University, Wales where I held the Rendel Chair in English and was the Director of the Institute for Arts and Humanities. 




Employer: School of English, University of Exeter
Position: Research Assistant (Grade 1B)
Employer: Aberystwyth University
Position: Senior Lecturer in English Literature, Department of English and Creative Writing
Employer: Aberystwyth University
Position: Reader in English Literature, Department of English and Creative Writing
Employer: Aberystwyth University
Position: Institute Director, Institute of Literature, Languages and Creative Arts
Employer: Aberystwyth University
Position: Rendel Chair of English Language and Literature


Year 1990 Institution: University of York
Qualification: BA Subject:
Year 1997 Institution: University of Exeter
Qualification: PhD Subject:





Prescott, Sarah (2003) Women, Authorship and Literary Culture 1690 - 1740. UK: Palgrave Macmillan. Available Online [Details]
Prescott, Sarah (2008) Eighteenth-century Writing from Wales: Bards and Britons. *: University of Wales Press. Available Online [Details]

Book Chapters

Sarah Prescott (2000) 'Eliza Haywood: Fantomina' In: David Womersley (eds). A Companion to Literature from Milton to Blake. UK: Blackwell. , pp.227-283 [Details]
Sarah Prescott (2000) 'Aphra Behn: Poems' In: David Womersley (eds). A Companion to Literature from Milton to Blake. UK: Blackwell. , pp.224-231 [Details]
Sarah Prescott (2003) 'Elizabeth Singer Rowe (1674-1737): Politics, Passions and Piety' In: Sarah Prescott & David E. Shuttleton (eds). Women and Poetry, 1660-1750. UK: Palgrave Macmillan. , pp.71-78 [Details]
Sarah Prescott (2005) 'Elizabeth Singer Rowe: Gender, Dissent and Whig Poetics' In: David Eomersley (eds). Cultures of Whiggism: New Essays in English Literature and Culture in the Long Eighteenth Century. USA: University of Delaware Press. , pp.173-199 [Details]
Sarah Prescott (2010) 'Anglophone Women's Poetry from Wales, 1750-1784: Jane Cave and Anne Penny' In: Jacqueline Labbe (eds). The History of British Women's Writing, Volume 5. UK: Palgrave Macmillan. [Details]
Prescott, S; Mottram, S; (2012) 'Introduction' In: Stewart Mottram and Sarah Prescott (eds). Writing Wales from the Renaissance to Romanticism. England, USA: Ashgate. [Details]
Sarah Prescott (2012) 'Writing Wales in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Anglophone Poetry' In: Stewart Mottram and Sarah Prescott (eds). Writing Wales from the Renaissance to Romanticism. England, USA: Ashgate. [Details]
Sarah Prescott (2015) 'Place and Publication' In: Catherine Ingrassia (eds). The Cambridge Companion to Women's Writing in Britain, 1660-1789. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. , pp.55-69 [Details]
Sarah Prescott (2016) 'Archipelagic Literary History: Eighteenth-Century Poetry from Ireland, Scotland and Wales' In: Jennie Batchelor and Gillian Dow (eds). Women's Writing 1660-1830: Feminisms and Futures. Palgrave: Palgrave. , pp.179-201 [Details]

Edited Books

Sararh Prescott and David Shuttleton (Ed.). (2003) Women and Poetry, 1660-1750. UK: Palgrave MacMillan. [Details]
Stewart Mottram and Sarah Prescott (Ed.). (2012) Writing Wales from the Renaissance to Romanticism. England, USA: Ashgate. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Sarah Prescott (1994) 'Penelope Aubin and The Doctrine of Morality: a reassessment of the pious woman novelist'. Women's Writing, 1 (1):99-112. [Details]
Sarah Prescott (2000) 'The Debt to Pleasure: Eliza Haywood's 'Love in Excess' and Women's Fiction of the 1720s'. Women's Writing, 7 (3):427-445. [Details]
Prescott, S., Spencer, J. (2000) 'Prattling, tattling and knowing everything: Public authority and the female editorial persona in the early essay-periodical'. British Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies, 23 (1):43-57. Available Online [Details]
Prescott, S., Shuttleton, D.E. (2001) 'Mary Chandler, Elizabeth Rowe, and 'Ralph's miscellany': Coincidental biographical and bibliographical findings'. Notes and queries, 48 (1):31-34. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Prescott, S. (2005) 'The Cambrian muse: Welsh identity and Hanoverian loyalty in the poems of Jane Brereton (1685-1740)'. Journal For Eighteenth-Century Studies, 38 (4):587-603. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Prescott, S. (2006) 'Gray's Pale Spectre: Evan Evans, Thomas Gray, and the rise of Welsh Bardic nationalism'. Modern Philology, 104 (1):72-95. Available Online [Details]
Prescott, S. (2006) 'What foes more dang'rous than too strong allies?: Anglo-Welsh relations in eighteenth-century London'. The Huntington Library quarterly, 69 (4):535-554. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Prescott, S. (2009) 'That private shade, wherein my Muse was bred: Katherine Philips and the poetic spaces of Welsh retirement'. Philological Quarterly, 88 (4):345-364. Available Online [Details]
Sarah Prescott (2017) 'Cambrian Bards and Antiquarian Romantics: Anglophone Women Poets from Eighteenth-Century Wales'. Women's Writing, :1-18. Available Online [Details]
Sarah Prescott (2014) 'Women travellers in Wales: Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi, Mary Morgan and Elizabeth Isabella Spence'. Studies in Travel Writing, 18 (2):107-121. [Details]
Sarah Prescott (2014) 'Archipelagic Coterie Space: Katherine Philips and Welsh Women's Writing'. Tulsa Studies in Womens Literature, 33 (2):51-76. [Details]


Research Interests

The research I have conducted on women writers of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries has contributed substantially to the development and critical evaluation of a number of women writers (such as Eliza Haywood and Elizabeth Singer Rowe) who are now seen as central to key debates in eighteenth-century studies and women's literary history. My 2003 book on Women, Authorship and Literary Culture, 1690-1750 (Palgrave) has been influential in its critique of the methodology of women's literary history and in the creation of new theoretical paradigms for studying women¿s writing of this period. This study challenged the dominant London-centred and professional model for understanding female authorship in the early eighteenth century through a comparative analysis of alternative contexts for publication and women's writing careers. In addition to acknowledging the impact of the metropolis on the careers, marketing strategies and publications of a wide range of women writers, the book's stress on the importance of provincial networks and non-metropolitan literary systems allowed me to construct a revisionist methodology for understanding women¿s engagement in the literary culture of their time. 

My expertise in the field of women's writing and literary culture was further expanded by the publication of an edited book (with David Shuttleton) on Women and Poetry, 1660-1750 (Palgrave, 2003) which included essays by Margaret Ezell, Germaine Greer, Kathryn King, Donna Landry, and Jane Spencer. The collection provides an overview of all aspects of women¿s poetic practice from 1660 to 1750 and the essays address questions of social status and public image, the shift from manuscript to print, exploitation in the literary marketplace, the use of classical and biblical models, politics, satire and the emergence of labouring-class women poets. I contributed a chapter to this volume and co-wrote the introduction.

Since the publication of my first two books, my research centred on Welsh Writing in English 1500-1800, an area of study which I am still in the process of defining and exploring in a number of forthcoming books, chapters and articles as well as conference papers and collaborative projects. Eighteenth-Century Writing from Wales: Bards and Britons (University of Wales Press, 2008), investigates the ways in which Welsh writers confront questions of identity and nation by reference to a wide range of previously unexplored literary texts, including poetry, fiction, drama, letters and sermons. Eighteenth-Century Writing from Wales argued for the need to include Anglophone writing from Wales in accounts of eighteenth-century Britishness and has been described as presenting 'a powerful challenge to Linda Colley's influential account of the forging of Britishness' (TLS, October 2008). The book was shortlisted for the 2009 Roland Mathias Prize for Welsh Writing in English (the first year an academic book appeared on the shortlist).

In 2009 I received a British Academy Development Award (BARDA) to further my ongoing work on Wales and Women's Writing, 1600-1800. This project builds on both my earlier work on women's writing and my more recent research on pre-1800 Anglophone Welsh writing. I am co-author of the forthcoming Oxford Literary History of Wales (a four-volume project which aims to chart, expand and reassess the history of the two literatures of Wales). I am responsible for the period from 1536 to 1800 for the third volume on Welsh Literature in English, 1536-1914. I have co-edited a collection of essays on Writing Wales from the Renaissance to Romanticism (Ashgate, 2012), based on a conference I co-organised on the same theme at the National Library of Wales in July 2008

My research plans for the future focus on developing my research on the Anglophone literature of Wales in a comparative context alongside the pre-1800 literatures of Ireland and Scotland in their Anglophone manifestations. In 2012 I received a Leverhulme Trust Project Grant for a three-year project on 'Women's Poetry from Ireland, Scotland and Wales: 1400-1800' which include scholars from the universities of Aberystwyth, Edinburgh and NUI Galway. See


Research Projects

Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : 2017 CP Research Support
Start Date / End Date : 01-JAN-17 / 31-DEC-21

Recent Postgraduates

I have supervised a number of dissertations for a Masters in Literary Studies.  I have acted as internal examiner and chair for PhD theses and as an external examiner for PhD and M.Phil dissertations.      

I have supervised the following students at Aberystwyth University:
  • PhD Students 
    • Rebecca Davies, (2004 part-time; submitted September 2010) 'Women¿s Educative Writing of the Enlightenment Era, 1750-1830'. Successful viva: 2010.
    • Alan Vaughan Jones, (2006-10) 'Modalities of Cultural Identity in the Writings of Idris Davies and Alun Lewis' (AHRC) Second supervisor. Successful viva: 2010.
    • Mary Chadwick, (2008-2012)'Resisting Anglicisation? The Griffith Family Writings, 1750-1830' (AHRC). Successful viva 2012
    • Gwyneth Roberts, (2010-14) 'Jane Williams (Ysgafell) and nineteenth-century Welsh identity' (APRS - funded by Aberyswyth University)  Successful viva: 2014.
    • Sally Demarest (2008-)''If Reason Held the Balance': Rhetoric, Narrative, and Authority in Selected Works of Eliza Haywood' (International part-time student)
    • Ashley Hill, (2010- second supervisor) 'Restoration-Era Literature'
    • Nathan Llywelyn Munday (2015 ) Co-supervisor with Prof. Katie Gramich, Cardiff University and funded by the Southwest and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership), 'The sacred re-territorialisation of Welsh modernist verse'.
  • Masters in Literary Studies
    • Rhian Jacob-Crankshaw (2012) 'Historical fiction and its importance in Welsh literature'
    • Stephanie Jones (2011) 'Memory and Trauma in the Novels of Toni Morrison'
    • Mary Chadwick, (2008) 'Riddles Remarked Upon: representing reading strategy and social practice in the works of Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood and Jane Austen'
    • Beth McAllister, (2006) 'The Novels of Allen Raine'
    • Rebecca Davies, (2004) 'The Educative Writings of Mary Wollstonecraft'
    • Amy Vodden, (2000) 'Murder, she wrote: Feminism and Popular Crime Fiction' (2000)
    • Heike Bauer, (1999) 'Playing with Bodies: Theory and Images of the Body in Three Twentieth-Century Literary Works'
    • Caroline McAlea, (1999) 'Eliza Haywood and Constructions of Femininity in the Early Eighteenth Century'
    • Rebecca Moss, (1998) 'Leaving the Father¿s House: The Crisis of Patriarchal Authority and the Fictions of Feminine Identity' (1998)



Internal Collaborators

External Collaborators

Dr Sarah Dunnigan, Edinburgh University
Professor Marie-Louise Coolahan, NUI Galway
Dr Cathryn Charnell-White, Aberystwyth University
Professor Jane Aaron