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Eloise Davies

Eloise Davies

Department: History

Supervisor: Dr Richard Serjeantson

College: Peterhouse

AHRC subject area: History

Title of thesis: Venice, England and seventeenth-century conceptions of the state


I completed both my BA (History) and MPhil (Political Thought and Intellectual History) at Peterhouse, Cambridge, 2013-17. As an undergraduate, I was especially interested in eighteenth-century England, writing a dissertation on 'The Blasphemy Act of 1698' under the supervision of Dr Matt Neal, which was jointly awarded the History of Parliament Dissertation Prize 2016. My MPhil research was focussed on fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Italy: with Dr Richard Serjeantson I investigated the use of the language of Saint Augustine to legitimise early Florentine humanism, and with Dr Annabel Brett explored the neglected political impact of the Dominican Observants and Saint Catherine of Siena. 

I am especially intrigued by the role of religion in both legitimising and challenging state structures. Drawing on my broad early modern background, my research uses the interlinked cases of Venice and England to explore diverse ways in which state and religion were theorised, and how this discourse in turn shaped the limits of the politically possible.

I have a particular biographical interest in Sir Henry Wotton (1568–1639), English ambassador to Venice on three occasions (1604–1610, 1616–1619 and 1621–1623).

Other academic interests:

 Latin as a spoken language, whig history and teleology, republics and city states, parliamentary history