Dr Jitka Štollová

My first monograph, currently in preparation, examines the continuities and disjunctions between Tudor and Stuart modes of interpreting the lessons of medieval English history. Specifically, it challenges the narrative that Richard III was seen solely as an epitome of tyranny, as he was portrayed in Shakespeare’s eponymous play. Drawing on a range of hitherto unknown or under-researched sources, including poems, pamphlets and legal treatises, it shows that political pressures of the seventeenth century generated a more balanced reading of his exemplum and the boundaries of tyranny he was commonly associated with. Against the background of critical periods such as the personal rule of Charles I and the Civil Wars, writers produced a complex and paradoxical view of the king who became seen, at once, as an illegitimate tyrant, a monarch elected by parliament, and an opponent of excessive taxation. My project also reconsiders Shakespeare’s Richard III in the context of other sixteenth- and seventeenth-century texts about the Wars of the Roses.


I have a parallel interest in the history of the book, bibliography, and paratexts. I am particularly interested in the way dramatic characters are conceived in and through character lists in playbooks.

Shakespeare, early modern literature, the history of the book.

I am very interested in public engagement. My talk to Jesus College alumni at the launch of the campaign anticipating the 450th anniversary of the college foundation can be accessed here


I was an assistant at a series of public performances of early drama, The Sacred and the Profane, part of the AHRC-funded Records of Early English Drama North-East. I have also given interviews on the Czech TV and the Czech National Radio. 


I gave a talk as part of a book exhibition in Cambridge University Library marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.


I moderated a public debate with the Ambassadors of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, held at Trinity College, Cambridge.


Articles and essays in edited volumes

‘Richard III and Regicide: Thomas Wincoll’s Plantagenets Tragicall Story (1649).’ English Literary Renaissance, 49, issue 3 (2019), 360-89. 

‘Reading Dramatic Character Through Dramatis Personae in Early Modern Printed Drama.’ Studies in Philology, 115, issue 2 (2018), 312-42.

‘“This silence of the Stage”: The Play of Format and Paratext in the Beaumont and Fletcher Folio.’ Review of English Studies, 68, issue 1 (2017), 507-23.

‘Sir Aston Cokain’s Unknown Book.’ Notes and Queries, 64, issue 3 (2017), 436-37.

‘Plotting Paratexts in Shirley’s The Politician.’ In James Shirley and Early Modern Theatre: New Critical Perspectives, ed. by Barbara Ravelhofer (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016), pp. 139-52. 

‘Shakespeare’s sonnets in Contemporary Czech Translation / Shakespearovy sonety v soucasnem ceskem prekladu.’ UC Berkeley Comparative Literature Undergraduate Journal. University of California, Berkeley, 2, issue 1 (2012). https://ucbcluj.org/ (14 pp.)


Reviews and non-peer-reviewed publications

‘Kieran Williams: Václav Havel (Critical Lives).’ Journal of European Studies, 4, issue 3 (2017), 309-10.

‘From the Margins to the Centre.’ Cambridge Quarterly, 45, issue 4 (2016), 376-81.

‘Václav Havel: Life Is a Struggle for Expression.’ Grasp: Culture and Aesthetics Quarterly. 4 (2011), 28-29.

‘Václav Havel’s Leaving and Shakespeare’s King Lear: A Twin Study of Human Fall.’ Grasp: Culture and Aesthetics Quarterly. 12 (2009), p. 41.


Selected talks and conference papers

(invited talks marked by *)

‘The Performance of Dramatic Paratexts during the Civil Wars and the Interregnum’, Performativity and Creativity in Modern Cultures: An Interdisciplinary Conference, Charles University, Prague (November 2019)

‘Shaping Richard III after Shakespeare’, Changing Histories: Rethinking the Early Modern History Play, King’s College London (July 2019)

‘Dramatic Paratexts and the "Silence of the Stage", 1642-1660’, Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Toronto (March 2019)

‘Age, Agedness and Ageism in Royal Portraiture: The Curious Cases of Elizabeth I and Richard III’, ANZAMEMS, University of Sydney (February 2019)

* ‘The Face of Tyranny: Richard III after Shakespeare’, Early Modern Britain Seminar, Merton College, Oxford (October 2018)

* ‘Tyranny in Early Modern England: The Case of Richard III’, Constitutionalism, Scale and Tyranny, Durham Law School (April 2018)

‘Rediscovering Richard III in Seventeenth-Century Legal Writing’, Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Chicago (April 2017)

‘When Havel Read Shakespeare: Shakespearean Allusions in Letters to Olga and Leaving’, Václav Havel’s Legacy and the Future of Central Europe, St Catharine’s College, Cambridge (November 2016)

* ‘Beyond Shakespeare: Richard III in the Seventeenth Century’, MEMSA seminar, Durham University (February 2016)

‘Beyond Shakespeare: Changing Perceptions of Richard III in the Seventeenth Century’, ANZSA Annual Conference, University of Southern Queensland (October 2014)

‘“To serue and Out-law, and neglect the King?”: Loyalty, Heritage and Memory in John Beaumont’s Bosworth Field’, On the Fringes: Outsiders and Otherness in the Medieval and Early Modern World, MEMSA, Durham University (July 2014)

‘Encoding Emotions into Stage Directions in Printed Stuart Drama’, Sourcing Emotions in the Medieval and Early Modern World, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia (June 2013)

‘The Beauty and the Beast: Female Agency and Resistance to Richard III in “The Song of Lady Bessy”’, Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Medieval and Early Modern Studies, St. John’s College, Durham (March 2013)

‘A Play out of Joint: James Shirley’s The Politician’, Editing Now: Early Modern Performance and Modern Textual Scholarship, Durham University (September 2012)

‘“My withered arm is a sufficient testimony”: Dramatizing Disability in pre-Shakespearean Plays on Richard III’, Disability and the Renaissance, Leeds Trinity University (September 2012)

‘The Leaving of King Lear: Forms of Shakespearean Allusions in Václav Havel’s Last Work’, Transition and Transformation in Medieval and Early Modern Cultures, Durham University (July 2012)

‘Shakespeare’s King Lear and Václav Havel’s Leaving: A Twin Study of Human Fall’, Popular Fiction and the English Renaissance, Newcastle University (April 2012)


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