School of the Arts, English and Drama

School staff

Dr Sara Read PGCAP, FHEA

Photo of Dr Sara Read

Lecturer in English

I am a specialist in early modern literature, and completed my PhD in 2010 under the supervision of Professor Elaine Hobby. This project was funded by both the Arts and Humanities Research Council (2 years) and Loughborough University (1 year). I have been teaching at the University since beginning my doctoral studies in 2006. After being awarded my PhD I won a post-doctoral research fellowship from the Society for Renaissance Studies (2012-13). I have an MA in early modern writing and an English degree from Loughborough.

In addition to teaching at Loughborough, I have taught as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Worcester (Renaissance Verse), Birmingham City University (Shakespeare Studies), and Newman University (Introduction to Drama). 

Over the years I have taught on a wide range of undergraduate modules. The first year modules Introduction to Poetry One and Two; Critical Studies One and Two; Introduction to the Shorty Story; Introduction to Short Narrative; Oral Communications; and Library Skills.

I regularly teach on the second year British Drama module and this year (2014-15) have convened the third year module based around the study of Samuel Richardson’s 1747 epistolary novel, Clarissa. I have been module leader for the second year module Tutorial course 3

In Semester Two (2015), I will be convening Introduction to Short Narrative and will be on the Introduction to Poetry Two teaching team. You will also see me give a couple of Critical Studies Two lectures on feminism.

In addition I will be convening the MA module Exploring the Early Modern Body which is based on my research into representations of the body in early modern literature.

My doctoral research was developed into a book, Menstruation and the Female Body in Early Modern England, published in 2013, and also produced a number of articles (see Publications).


Menstruation and the Female Body on Early Modern England (Hounslow: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

Maids, Wives, Widows: Exploring Early Modern Women’s Lives, 1540-1740 (Barnsley: Pen and Sword, 2015)

Edited Edition

Adcock, Rachel, Sara Read and Anna Ziomek, eds., Flesh and Spirit: An Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Women’s Writing (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014)

Journal Articles

‘Gushing out Blood’: Defloration and Menstruation in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, Journal for Medical Humanities, (forthcoming, 2016)

‘“My Medicine and Methods”: Mary Trye, Chemical Physician’, Early Modern Woman: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 11 (Fall 2016), 137-148

“‘Thanksgiving after Twice Miscarrying’: Divine Will, Women, and Miscarriage in Early Modern England, Women’s History: The Journal of the Women’s History Network 2.5 (Summer 2016) 11-15

Jennifer Evans and Sara Read, ‘Before Midnight she had Miscarried’: Men, Women and Miscarriage in Early Modern England, Journal for Family History, January 2015, 3-22

‘“An Expected Gift”: Literary Resumption of Marital Intimacy from Donne to Updike’, Notes and Queries 60. 2 (2013): 200-303

‘When Menopause is not Climacteric’, Notes and Queries 59.2 (2012): 224-6

‘“Thy Righteousness is but a Menstrual Clout”: Sanitary Protection and Prejudice in Early-Modern England', Early Modern Woman: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 3 (2008), 1-26
Freely available online in the Loughborough University Institutional Repository

Book Chapters

‘“Pregnant Women Gaze at the Precious thing their Souls are Set on”: Perceptions of the Pregnant Body in Early Modern Literature’, in Perceptions of Pregnancy from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century, ed. by Jennifer Evans and Ciara Meehan (Palgrave, November 2016)

‘Only Kept up by the Credulous and Ignorant’: Eighteenth-Century Responses to the ‘Poisonous’ Nature of Menstrual Blood, in Great Expectations: Futurity in the Long Eighteenth Century, ed by Mascha Hansen and Jürgen Klein (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2012), pp. 205-222

Biography and Encyclopaedia Entries

‘Elizabeth Clinton, countess of Lincoln’, in Mary Hays, Female Biography; or, Memoirs of Illustrious and Celebrated Women, of All Ages and Countries (1803). Chawton House Library Series: Women’s Memoirs, ed. Gina Luria Walker, Memoirs of Women Writers Part III. Pickering & Chatto: London, 2014. Vol. X

Two entries in The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of British Literature: 1660-1789 (4 vols), forthcoming (Jan, 15) [2,000 words on Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (1623-1673) and 1000 words on Elizabeth Tollet (1694—1754)] (Jan, 2015)

Eighteen entries for A Biographical Encyclopedia of Early Modern Englishwomen 1500-1650: Exemplary Lives and Memorable Acts, ed. by Anna Riehl Bertolet, Carole Levin, and Michele Osherow, forthcoming with Ashgate

Two entries in The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of British Literature: 1660-1789 (4 vols) (2015): Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (1623-1673) [2000 word entry], Elizabeth Tollet (1694—1754) [1000 word entry]


Review of Performing Maternity in Early Modern England, ed. by Kathryn M. Moncrief and Kathryn Read McPherson (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007) in The Seventeenth Century, 25.1 (2010), 184-85

Review of Oliva Sabuco de Nantes Barrera, The True Medicine, edited and translated by Gianna Pomata (Toronto: Center for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2010) in Social History of Medicine 24.2 (2011), 531-32

Review of Jennifer Munroe, ‘“My innocent diversion of gardening”: Mary Somerset’s plants’ in the Journal of Literature and Science, 4.1 (2011), 78-9 ISSN 1754-646X
PDF available at

Review of Irma Taavitsainen and Päivi Pahta (eds), Medical Writing in Early Modern English, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011, in Social History of Medicine (published online November 11, 2011: DOI 10.1093/shm/hkr157)

Review of Katharine Hodgkin, Women, Madness and Sin in Early Modern England: The Autobiographical Writings of Dionys Fitzherbert (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010) in The Seventeenth Century, 27 (2012), pp. 493-94

Review of Mary Lindemann, Medicine and Society in Early Modern Europe, 2nd edn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), in Canadian Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 30.1 (2013)

Review of Marjo Kaartinen, Breast Cancer in the Eighteenth Century (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2013) in Social History of Medicine (published online January 2014: doi: 10.1093/shm/hkt121)

Review of Elizabeth Mazzola, Learning and Literacy in Female Hands, 1520-1698 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013), in Writing Women (published online 19 September 2014: doi: 10.1080/09699082.2014.956427

Review of Rebecca Probert (ed.), Cohabitation and Non-marital Births in England and Wales, 1600-2012 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) Gender and History 28 (1):253-255 17 (Mar 2016)

Magazine Articles

‘Digging Your Grave with your Teeth: Dieting and Weight in the Seventeenth Century’, Discover your Ancestors, Issue 5, Mar 2016, pp. 88-93

‘A Women's Revolt', History Today, 20 Jul 2015, p. 6

‘The Truth about Beauty’, Discover your Ancestors, Issue 3, February 2015, pp. 141-145

‘Travail Tales’, Discover your Ancestors, Issue 3, February 2014, pp. 58-63

‘The Age of Purges’, Discover your Ancestors, Issue 2, February 2013, pp. 134-38


‘In Conversation: Women's Health in Early Modern England’, Podcast with Jennifer Evans Reddit Ask Historian Subreddit. 13 Mar 2015


Invited seminar lectures




‘Accounting for Menstruation in Early-Modern England’:  Given at De Partu History of Childbirth Research Group, Manchester University, June 2010




‘“A Disease Most Troublesome and Spending”: Accounting for Vaginal Discharge in Early-Modern England’: Given at Women’s History Research Group, The Institute of Historical Research, University of London, October 2012




‘Menstruation and Transitional Bleeding’: Menstruation in Early Modern England, at the Centre for Medical History, Exeter University 10 January 2014


I am on the committee of the Women's Studies Group 1557-1837. In the last year, I have given talks for Tamworth Literary Festival and Loughborough History and Heritage Network. I am a regular contributor to the periodical Discover Your Ancestors available in high street newsagents.


I have been commissioned to write reader reports for books submitted for publication with Manchester University Press and Cambridge University Press. I regularly peer review articles for academic journals.


I am an editor and a regular contributor to the blog <www.>, and have written guest blogs for the Museum of Menstruation <>, and the Feminist Studies blog FWSA at <>


I am part of the outreach team at the School of Arts, English and Drama and have run visit days for local schools. Most recently, we ran a school poetry competition which saw 999 year 7, 8, and 9 pupils submit entries. The winning poem appeared in the Loughborough Echo and won tickets to a performance at the Curve, Leicester in December 2014.