Emma Turnbull

  • Anti-popery and anti-Catholicism
  • Women’s experiences of the British Civil Wars
  • News, print and political agency

My research has been chiefly on the political, religious and intellectual history of England in the first half of the seventeenth century. I am currently finishing a D.Phil on anti-popery in early Stuart England. It explores the relationship between anti-papal ideas and the tensions surrounding Stuart foreign policy, especially relations with Europe’s major Catholic powers. My work seeks to highlight how the binary constructs of anti-papal thought were actually being put to complex, malleable and even irenical political uses in this period.

I am also embarking on a new knowledge exchange project, ‘Women and War: Female Activism during the English Civil War’, in partnership with The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH) and The National Trust. The project seeks to innovate the ways that the Trust communicates the powerful stories of women’s activism at a few key Civil War and seventeenth-century properties. I will be applying my knowledge of seventeenth-century religious and political tensions, as well as Civil War historiography, to National Trust collections in order to enrich the historical content offered to visitors as well as provide new public audiences for my research. 


  • Rethinking the representation of Gustavus Adolphus: the case of William Watts and The Swedish Intelligencer, 1630–33


I currently teach:


General History III Disciplines of History
  General History XVIII: Eurasian Empires, 1450-1800

 I also teaching Literature and Politics in Early Modern England to undergraduates on the Visiting Students programme.

In the Media

I am actively involved in projects that are seeking to engage new public audiences with historical research.

My Knowledge Exchange Fellowship project, entitled ‘Women and War: Female Activism during the English Civil War’, aims to transform public understanding of women’s experiences of civil war conflict through powerful historical storytelling.


I am also a contributor to The AngloFiles, an online magazine run by The Royal Oak Foundation. I have blogged about the fascinating seventeenth-century politics that can be uncovered at Ham House. This piece emerged from a knowledge exchange project that I was part of between Ham House and Oxford researchers in 2015-16.