Elizabeth Evenden-Kenyon


Elizabeth Evendon-Kenyon LL

Elizabeth studied English & Related Literature at York University as an undergraduate. Her Masters degree was in Book History, Editing and the Transmission of Text at Birmingham University, and she returned to York University for her PhD on the production and transmission of printed propaganda during the Tudor period. She came to Brunel from the History Faculty at the University of Cambridge in 2007. Her work is interdisciplinary, covering the fields of historical research, literary criticism and bibliography.

Elizabeth was recently awarded a prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship (2012-2016). She was based in the History Department at Harvard University for the outgoing phase of this project, where she undertook multi-lingual research into the distribution of propaganda in England and Portugal, and the relationship between these two countries and Spain during the early modern period. (Project title: ‘Re-shaping the Black Legend: Conflict, Coalition and the Press: Anglo-Portuguese Relations, c.1480-1680’.) She is now completing the output from this project, which includes:

 The Iberian Book: Print and Literature in Portugal, Spain and their Empires, c. 1480-1750 (monograph)

 Envisaging Empires: the Portuguese and Spanish on the English Stage, c.1580-1700 (monograph)

 O Auto de Florença – The Play of Florence: A bilingual critical edition (This Portuguese play was performed at court of King Sebastian around the same time that Gordoduc was enacted before Elizabeth I; the critical introduction considers how both plays address fears over succession and the impact of empire-building.)

Research Blog: elizabethevenden.wordpress.com

Twitter: @codexhistoria

Research area(s)

  • Early modern printing and the dissemination of printed texts in England, Portugal and Spain
  • The patronage and financing of the book trade in early modern Europe
  • The Reformation in print
  • Printed editions of early modern drama (from the sixteenth to the 21st century)
  • The impact of stereotyping race, gender, religion, nation, migration and refugee status, from the rise of empires through to their legacy in the present day
  • Bibliography, editorial theory and paleography




Research interests

Elizabeth’s first three books look at the production of religious and political propaganda during the early modern period. She continues to work on the production and dissemination of printed propaganda in England during this period, with a special interest in the financing of the London book trade and the links between book trade personnel and the English court and Church.

More recently her research interests have expanded to include an examination of the production and distribution of the printed word in Portugal and Spain during the period c.1480-1680. Her research is therefore multi-lingual, covering manuscript and print resources in English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Latin. She also undertakes outreach activities with school children and young adults, exploring the impact of historically engrained stereotypes on our contemporary society.

Recent research awards in this field include a BRIEF Award from Brunel University London (2009-10), a Fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC (2011) a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship (2012-2016), and a Big Data Analytics seed fund grant (2016), to commence work on her next major research project, on collating and accessing European historical data.



Elizabeth’s teaching interests lie in the creation and dissemination of prose and drama during the early modern period – in particular, on how stereotypes were formed and ingrained within early modern society. (Current texts taught include the work of Shakespeare, Marlowe, Kyd, More, and Foxe.) This allows her to bring her specialist knowledge to bear in her teaching, since her students examine not only the texts and their composition in detail but also contemplate their historical context and the wider ramifications of their distribution.

Elizabeth would welcome graduate students working in the field of book history and the dissemination of propaganda during the period c.1450-1750.

Elizabeth has made a number of media appearances, including live and recorded broadcasts for In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg:
November 2010 on Foxe’s Book of Martyrs with Diarmaid MacCulloch and Justin Champion (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00vy2dd#supporting-content/)
January 2012 special series, The Written World, for In Our Time (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018wy46)
January 2012 Featured in a BBC News Magazine article, as a specialist on the Gutenberg Bible (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16399544)

Convenor of the Religious History of Britain, 1500-1800 Seminar at the IHR (see: http://www.history.ac.uk/events/seminars)
Founder of the Anglo-Iberian Relations: from the Medieval to the Modern Network (see: https://elizabethevenden.wordpress.com/air-conferences-workshops-and-events/)
Independent Expert ID (European Commission): EX2015D230499 (Expert in public perceptions of race, gender, religion, nation, migration and refugee status, and their historical precedents; also a registered expert in Higher Education pedagogy)



Catholic Renewal and Protestant Resistance in Marian England, co-edited with Vivienne Westbrook (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2015)

Religion and the Book in Early Modern England: the Making of John Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs” with Thomas S. Freeman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Patents, Pictures and Patronage: John Day and the Tudor Book Trade (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008)


‘Spanish Involvement in the Marian Restoration of Catholicism, 1553-1558’ in Catholic Renewal and Protestant Resistance in the Reign of Mary Tudor, ed. Evenden and Westbrook (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2015), pp. 45-64

‘Agendas and Aesthetics in the Transformations of the Codex in Early Modern England’ in Sas Mays (ed.), Unpacking the Library: Literatures and their Archives (Routledge, 2013), pp. 97-114

‘The impact of print: the perceived worth of the printed word in England, 1476-1575’ in Elaine Treharne and Greg Walker (eds.), The Oxford Medieval Handbook (Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 90-108

‘Closing the Books: the problematic printing of the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII in Foxe’s Acts and Monuments (1570)’ in John N. King (ed.), Tudor Books and Readers: Materiality and the Construction of Meaning (Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 68-92

‘The Fleeing Dutchmen? The Influence of Dutch Immigrants on the Print Shop of John Day’, John Foxe: At Home and Abroad, ed. David Loades (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 63-77

‘John Foxe, John Day and the Printing of the “Book of Martyrs”’ with Thomas S. Freeman,
Lives in Print, eds. Robin Myers, Michael Harris and Giles Mandelbrote (London: British Library and Oak Knoll, 2002), pp. 23-54

ARTICLES – select

‘“The real rape of York”. Dr. Rosenbach’s acquisition of books from York Minster Library: a reconsideration’, The Book Collector (Spring 2016), pp. 43-58

‘John Foxe, Samuel Potter and the illustration of the Book of Martyrs’ for The Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library (Manchester University Press, December 2013), 203-30

Entries on various printers in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (oxforddnb.com, 2004)

‘Print, Profit and Propaganda: the Elizabethan Privy Council and the 1570 edition of the “Book of Martyrs”’ with Thomas S. Freeman, Historical Journal, 119 (2004), 1288-1307


For the British Academy John Foxe Project online Variorum edition (all available at www.johnfoxe.org):

‘Person Glossary for the Acts and Monuments’ – 2236 mini biographies of key figures referenced in the Acts and Monuments, accompanied by complete cross-referencing to their lives and acts detailed in all of the sixteenth century editions of Foxe’s book

‘Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs” and its visual representation of Martyrdom from the Early Church to the Lollards’ with Margaret Aston

Selected Publications

Journal articles

Evenden, E.   (2016)   '‘The real rape of York’ - Dr. Rosenbach’s acquisition of booksfrom York Minster Library: a reconsideration'. The Book CollectorDownload publication 

Evenden, E.   (2015)   'Book review on The English martyr from reformation to revolution by Alice Dailey, published by Notre Dame University'. Modern Language ReviewDownload publication 

Evenden, E.   (2014)   'Book review on Seeing faith, printing pictures: Religious identity during the English reformation by David J Davis, published by Brill'. Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing

Evenden, E.   (2014)   'Book review on Mary Tudor: Old and new perspectives edited by Sue Doran and Thomas S. Freeman published by Palgrave MacMillan'. Parliamentary History, 33 (2).  

Evenden, E.   (2013)   'John Foxe, Samuel Potter and the illustration of the Book of Martyrs'. The Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library, 90 (1).  pp. 203 - 230. 

Evenden, E.   (2013)   'Book review on De uiris illustribus / On Famous Men by John Leland, edited and translated by James P. Carley, published in Toronto by Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval'. The English Historical Review. doi: 10.1093/ehr/cet165 

Evenden, E.   (2012)   'Book review on The theological-political origins of the modern state: The controversy between James I of England and Cardinal Bellarmine by Bernard Bourdin, translated by Susan Pickford, published by The Catholic University of America Press'. Recusant History, 31 pp. 306 - 308. 

Evenden, E.   (2012)   'Book review on Shakespeare’s foreign worlds: National and transnational identities in the Elizabethan age by Carole Levin and John Watkins, published in New York by Cornell University Press'. The English Historical Review, 127 pp. 1505 - 1506. doi: 10.1093/ehr/ces281 

Evenden, E.   (2010)   'Book review on Indulgences in late medieval England: Passports to paradise? by RN Swanson, published in New York by Cambridge University Press'. Church History, 79 (4).  pp. 902 - 904. doi: 10.1017/S0009640710001150 

Evenden, E.   (2009)   'Book review on Used books: Marking readers in renaissance England by William H Sherman published in Philadelphia by University of Pennsylvania Press'. The English Historical Review, 124 (509).  pp. 956 - 958. doi: 10.1093/ehr/cep201 

Evenden, E.   (2009)   'Book reviewon Devil theatre: Demonic possession and exorcism in English renaissance drama 1558-1642 by Jan Frans van Dijkhuizen, published in Woodbridge by DS Brewer'. The English Historical Review, 124 (506).  pp. 157 - 159. doi: 10.1093/ehr/cen380 

Evenden, E.  and Freeman, TS.   (2004)   'Print, profit and propaganda: the Elizabethan Privy Council and the 1570 edition of Foxe's 'Book of martyrs''. The English Historical Review, 119 (484).  pp. 1288 - 1307. doi: 10.1093/ehr/119.484.1288 

Evenden, E.   (2004)   'The Michael Wood mystery: William Cecil and the Lincolnshire printing of John Day'. The Sixteenth Century Journal, 35 (2).  pp. 383 - 394. 


Evenden, E. , Westbrook, V. , Mayer, TF. , Wizeman, W. , et al.   (2015) Catholic Renewal and Protestant Resistance in Marian England. Farnham:  Ashgate 

Evenden, E.  and Freeman, TS.   (2011) Religion and the book in early modern England: the making of John Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs". Cambridge, UK:  Cambridge University Press 

Evenden, E.   (2008) Patents, pictures and patronage: John Day and the Tudor book trade. Aldershot, Hants, UK:  Ashgate Publishing Limited 

Book chapters

Evenden, E.  (2013)   'Early modern collectors and editors and their perception of the role of the codex', in Mays, S. (ed.) Libraries, literatures, and archives.  Routledge pp. 97 - 114. 

Evenden, E.  (2010)   'The impact of print: the perceived worth of the printed book in England, 1476-1575', in Treharne, E. , Walker, G.  and Green, W. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature.  New York Oxford University Press pp. 90 - 108. 

Evenden, E.  (2010)   'Closing the books: The problematic printing of John Foxe's histories of Henry VII and Henry VIII in his Book of Martyrs (1570)', in King, JN. (ed.) Tudor Books and Readers: Materiality and the Construction of Meaning.  Cambridge Cambridge University Press pp. 68 - 92. 

Evenden, E.  (2004)   'The fleeing Dutchmen? The influence of Dutch immigrants on the print shop of John Day', in Loades, D. (ed.) John Foxe: At home and abroad.  Aldershot, Hants, UK Ashgate Publishing Limited pp. 63 - 77. 

Evenden, E.  and Freeman, TS.  (2002)   'John Foxe, John Day and the printing of the 'Book of Martyrs'', in Myers, R. , Harris, M.  and Mandelbrote, G. (eds.) Lives in print: Biography and the book trade from the middle ages to the 21st century.  London Oak Knoll Press pp. 23 - 54. 

Page last updated: Thursday 24 November 2016