Suzanne Trill

Head of English and Scottish Literature


Suzanne Trill studied English Literature at the University of Southampton, before pursuing her PhD in Renaissance Women’s Writing at University of Liverpool. While a post-graduate, she taught part-time at the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moore’s University and (as it was then) Chester College. With her friends and colleagues Kate Chedgzoy and Melanie Hansen/Obsorne, she co-organised Voicing Women (Liverpool, 1993) which was the first conference in the UK to focus specifically on early modern women's writing. In 1992, she was appointed Lecturer at the Queen’s University of Belfast before moving to the University of Edinburgh in 1997. Since then she has published widely on early modern women’s writing, helped in part by being the recipient of research awards from the AHRC and the Leverhulme Trust. In 2006 she became Senior Lecturer and for the Fall semester of 2007 she was Lynn Wood Neag Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Connecticut (New England, USA). From 2009-12, Suzanne was Director of Undergraduate Studies for School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) as well as being Vice-President, then President of the University of Edinburgh’s branch of UCU (University and Colleges Union) from September 2009 until the end of August 2013. From May 2012-2013, Suzanne was an elected representative for Women Members on the UCU National Executive Committee. From 2016-2018, she was branch Secretary and Casework Co-ordinator for UCU Edinburgh. Her modernized edition of Anne, Lady Halkett, A True Account of My Life and Selected Meditations was published in the Other Voice series (2022). She became of Head of English and Scottish Literature in January 2023 and is now Professor of Seventeenth-Century Literature. With Professor Cordelia Beattie in History, she is currently working on an AHRC-funded project to produce a digital edition of the four volumes of Alice Thornton's autobiographical manuscripts (Alice Thornton's Books). Alice Thornton's Books | Alice Thornton (

Research summary

Suzanne’s early research focused on Tudor and Jacobean English women’s devotional poetry, specifically Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke and Aemilia Lanyer.  After finding a manuscript by Anna Walker in the British Library which was presented to Anna of Denmark (in a form which follows the generic conventions of a sermon), she was inspired to apply for a Leverhulme research fellowship in order to establish a preliminary checklist of manuscripts by women (c. 1500-1700) currently deposited at the National Library of Scotland. This also enabled her to commence her work on Anne, Lady Halkett (Ashgate, 2007). Her editorial work is complimented by her interest in theories of early modern women’s self-writing in both England and Scotland. Her publications pay particular attention to Protestant devotional literature and archival resources. While these are her primary fields of research, her work also engages with the theory and history of sexuality.

She welcomes research proposals relating to any aspect of women’s writing, sexuality, or devotional literature, c. 1550-1700.

View all 27 publications on Research Explorer