Professor Lucy Munro
Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Literature
- Co-Director, Shakespeare Centre London
I took my BA in English Language and Literature at Manchester University, moving to King’s College London for my MA and PhD. I worked at the University of Reading and Keele University, where I taught for the English, Film and Media degree programmes, before returning to King’s in September 2013.
I am currently Co-Director of the Shakespeare Centre London, President of the Marlowe Society of America and Website Officer for the Malone Society. Between 2019 and 2022, I served as a Trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America.
I have wide-ranging interests in Shakespeare and early modern literature, with a particular focus on theatre history, textual editing, genre and form, adaptation, gender, and childhood and ageing studies.
I have published three books to date. The first, Children of the Queen’s Revels: A Jacobean Theatre Repertory (Cambridge University Press, 2005), focuses on the most prominent of the boys’ playing companies of early modern London – the ‘little eyases’ of Shakespeare’s Hamlet – examining the company’s history and their involvement in crucial developments in dramatic genre in the early 17th century. The second, Archaic Style in Early Modern Literature, 1590-1674 (Cambridge University Press, 2013), is a study of the ways in which writers such as William Shakespeare, John Milton, Edmund Spenser, Ben Jonson, Robert Southwell and Anna Trapnel use linguistic, poetic or dramatic styles that would have seemed old-fashioned to their first audiences or readers. The third, Shakespeare in the Theatre: The King’s Men (Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2022), looks at the stage-lives of Shakespeare’s plays and their successive interactions with other plays in the repertory of the King’s Men between 1603 and 1642. It argues that the company exercised a generative and transformative influence on Shakespeare’s plays and that their practices over four decades shaped traditions that would define Shakespearean performance.
I have edited a number of early modern plays: Shirley’s The Gentleman of Venice, Massinger’s The Picture and Dekker, Ford and Rowley’s The Witch of Edmonton, Fletcher’s The Tamer Tamed, Brome’s The Queen and Concubine and The Demoiselle, Shakespeare and Wilkins’s Pericles and Sharpham’s The Fleer. I am currently editing The First Part of Henry IV for the Arden Shakespeare Fourth Series.
I have been a co-investigator on three large-scale funded research projects: ‘Ages and Stages: The Place of Theatre in Representations and Recollections of Ageing’ (AHRC, 2009-12); ‘Before Shakespeare’ (AHRC, 2016-18); and ‘Engendering the Stage: The Records of Early Modern Performance’ (Leverhulme Trust, 2020-3). For a taste of my work on the interconnected histories of women, trade, colonisation and early modern playhouses for ‘Engendering the Stage’, please see these blog-posts on ‘Women’s Investment and Performance at the Fortune Playhouse’ and ‘Frances and Judith: Parallel Lives’.
For more details, please see my full research profile.
Teaching and PhD supervision
I contribute to undergraduate modules on Shakespeare, Jacobean drama, premodern race and gender, and early modern literary culture. At MA level I teach seminars dealing with textual studies, editing, theatre history, gender, the relationship between medieval and early modern texts, and the afterlives of Shakespeare on screen. I currently supervise PhDs focusing on early modern drama and the law, actor-training, childhood, history plays, and the representation of race, gender, disability and the body.
Expertise and Public Engagement
I have worked extensively with theatre organisations such as Shakespeare’s Globe and the New Victoria Theatre, Newcastle-Under-Lyme. I also review books and theatre productions for The Times Literary Supplement. Recent public engagement events and interactions include:
- ‘Research in Action’ workshops on gesture, gender and race (2018), and on editing the plays of John Fletcher (2022) at Shakespeare’s Globe;
- Contributor to roundtable discussion on ‘Theatre in Time of Plague’, with Iqbal Kahn, James Shapiro and James Wallace, online event hosted by De Montfort University (2021);
- Public Lecture on ‘Before Shakespeare’ with Dr Andy Kesson and Dr Callan Davies, Shake It Up! festival, Shoreditch Town Hall (2019)
I would be happy to talk to the media on any issues connecting with her research or teaching.