About the project

About Our Research Project

This AHRC-funded research project, in partnership with Durham Cathedral, will create an online digital edition of all four of Alice Thornton’s autobiographical manuscripts. To date our knowledge of Thornton’s life has largely been dependent on a nineteenth-century edition by Charles C. Jackson that selected materials from some of those manuscripts to produce a single, chronological narrative of her life.

By contrast, our edition will make the full text of all four manuscripts freely available for the first time. This will allow users to compare and contrast her versions of events and examine how she revised her story.

In the process of creating this digital edition, we aim to answer three key questions:

  1. How do Thornton’s texts complicate current scholarship on early modern life-writing, particularly its gendered nature?
  2. Why did Thornton write four different autobiographical texts? How do they relate to each other and what might this reveal about their timing, process of composition and audience?
  3. How does Thornton’s engagement with contemporary legal, medical, political, and religious discourses enhance understanding of early modern women in Britain and Ireland?

The Project Team

‘Alice Thornton’s Books’ brings together historians, literary scholars and digital analysts from the University of Edinburgh and King’s Digital Lab.

Research Team

Solution Development Team