Dr Laura Varnam

Sacred space; church architecture; material culture; lay religion; The Book of Margery Kempe; pastoral care;  Lollardy; hagiography; Daphne du Maurier; Cornish literature; twentieth century women writers.

Old English, Middle English, Linguistics.

I have supervised undergraduate dissertations on hostile space in Old English literature; women in domestic space in Middle English literature; and the gothic in the works of Daphne du Maurier. I have supervised MSt dissertations on medieval carols and on gender and place in the works of Daphne du Maurier.

 

 My monograph, The Church as Sacred Space in Middle English Literature and Culture, was published by Manchester University Press in 2018.

Dr Laura Varnam did her BA at Durham, her MA at Leeds, and her DPhil at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She is the Lecturer in Old and Middle English at University College, Oxford. Laura's first book, The Church as Sacred Space in Middle English Literature and Culture, was published by Manchester University Press in 2018.

Laura is also an expert on The Book of Margery Kempe and in April 2018 she co-organised a landmark conference on the Book at University College, Oxford ('Margery Kempe Studies in the 21st Century') with Dr Laura Kalas Williams (Swansea). With Laura Kalas Williams, Laura Varnam is the co-founder of the Margery Kempe Society which supports and promotes the study and teaching of The Book of Margery Kempe and Laura & Laura will be editing a volume based on the Margery Kempe conference over the next year.

Laura is a member of the Architectural Representation in Early Medieval England research network and she co-organised the Architectural Representations in the Middle Ages conference (April 2017 at University College, Oxford).

Laura is also an expert on the life and works of Daphne du Maurier. She is currently writing a book on du Maurier and regularly appears at the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature (formerly the Du Maurier Festival), giving talks and running reading groups on du Maurier. Laura was interviewed for the 2017 Arte documentary Daphne du Maurier: Sur les traces de Rebecca ('in the footsteps of Rebecca') and she was involved in the launch events for Tatiana de Rosnay's biography of Daphne du Maurier, Manderley Forever (published in the UK in 2017). Laura has an article forthcoming on du Maurier's biography of Branwell Bronte in the journal Bronte Studies (2019).

Website: here

Twitter: @lauravarnam

College website profile.

Publications

  • 'Synne to shewe, vs to frame': Representing the Church in Robert Mannyng's 'Handlyng Synne'

  • The Importance of St Margaret's Church in 'The Book of Margery Kempe': A Sacred Place and an Exemplary Parishioner

  • The Church as Sacred Space in Middle English Literature and Culture

  • The crucifix, the Pietà, and the female mystic: Devotional objects and performative identity in The Book of Margery Kempe

  • Church

  • More
List of site pages