Professor Diane Purkiss

Areas of interest include the English Civil War, Milton, and Marvell; Marvell in manuscript culture; the supernatural, especially witchcraft; food and food history; children’s literature; folklore and folktale/fairytale; writer’s block and the writing process. 

Current projects near completion:

English Food: A People’s History.   A history of English food and recipes designed for the general reader, arguing that food history as document in literary writings is a crucial neglected source for social history.

Further ahead, my next large project will be on writer's block and the writing process, from Homer to David Foster Wallace.  I am also working on a microhistory of the Scottish witch, Andro Man, executed in 1597.

  • 1550-1830
  • Shakespeare
  • Women's Writing
  • Literary theory, especially feminism and psychoanalysis
  • Milton
  • Marvell and the Restoriation manuscript tradition
  • Selected recent writers including Hemingway, Plath, and David Foster Wallace
  • Children's Literature
  • Fairy Tales
  • Fantasy
  • Comparative mythology