Professor Bart van Es

My first area of research was the work of Edmund Spenser, especially in relation to the historical writing of his age.  I continue to work on ideas of history in the Renaissance: vernacular history writing, verse history, and the reception of classical historiography in the Early Modern period.  At the same time I am doing work on Renaissance drama by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, thinking above all about the material context of the theatre, notably the effect of acting companies on the way drama was written.  I have also worked on the place of children in Renaissance literary culture, both in drama and in non-dramatic verse.  I supervise doctoral work on reception history and the early modern theatre.  In addition to research on children, I recently published a book of creative non-fiction on World War II in the Netherlands, which has now been published in 6 langauges.  Publications in progress include 6 Ways of Thinking in Literature and a book of creative non-fiction on Shakespeare's lead comic actor, Robert Armin.

Literature 1500-1800, with special interest in Shakespeare and Spenser. My lecture series titles for the Faculty include ‘The Materiality of Texts: Manuscript, Print, and Edition’, ‘Renaissance Literature and Culture: More to Milton’, ‘Shakespeare in Company’, and ‘Historians in Verse’.

Reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement and member of the International Spenser Society executive.

College Website 


  • Captive children: John Lyly, A Midsummer Night's Dream , and child impressment on the early modern stage

  • Shakespeare’s Actors

  • The Cut Out Girl A Story of War and Family, Lost and Found

  • Shakespeare versus Blackfriars: Satiric Comedy, Domestic Tragedy, and the Boy Actor in 'Othello'

  • They do it with Mirrors: Verse History’s Political Vanishing Act

  • More
List of site pages