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Dr Nicola Clark

Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History

Dr Nicola Clark is an Associate Lecturer in the History Department. She is also a Teaching Fellow at Royal Holloway College, University of London, and has previously taught at the University of Winchester. She holds a BA (Hons) in English and American Literature and History from the University of Kent (2007), an MA in Medieval History from Royal Holloway College, University of London (2008) and a PhD in Early Modern History also from Royal Holloway (2013).

My current research focuses on the relationship between women, family, and politics during the Tudor period. My PhD thesis was focused on the women of the Howard family, Dukes of Norfolk, during Henry VIII’s reign, and explored their contribution to the dynasty’s political position.

The Howards lived their lives at the centre of politics and were infamous for their wildly fluctuating fortunes, a result of their involvement in many of the most gossip-worthy events of the century. Uncovering the female half of the family’s narrative allows me to look at the turbulent events of this period from a new angle through the themes of networking, marital relations, involvement in treason, religion and court service.

It is also concerned with the idea of ‘family strategy’ in politics; while women’s activities were crucial to their families’ political fortunes, this was not always positive, suggesting that families did not consistently work as coherent political units.

I am also interested in the role of the family in early modern politics more broadly; aristocratic responses to religious change; developments in the role of ‘lady-in-waiting’ during the early Tudor period; the political role of aristocratic widows; and the relationship between royal advisers and noblewomen across the early modern period. I am currently revising my thesis for publication.


The Howard Women: Kinship and Politics, 1485-1558 (provisional title; in preparation, intended for Manchester University Press)

‘A ‘conservative’ family? The Howard women and religious identity during the early Reformation’, under review with Historical Research

Recent book and exhibition reviews in The Journal of the Northern Renaissance and Reviews in History.


Level 4: Renaissance and Reformation Europe, 1350-1600

Level 4: The Tudors, 1485-1603

I have also taught a number of core modules on the skills and concepts of history for first year undergraduates at the University of Winchester and Royal Holloway; survey courses on the Tudors, the Stuarts, political and social history of late medieval Europe and/or early modern Europe; a specialist course for second and third year undergraduates on Tudor Queenship, 1553-1603; a second year ‘independent essay’ module on The English Court, 1485-1660; and a third year dissertation course entitled The Representation of Authority from Henry VII to Charles II. I have also been involved in e-learning courses at Royal Holloway.

Recent Conference Papers

‘‘Richly beseen’: an investigation into the identities and roles of women at the court of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, 1485-1509’ (Kings and Queens 3: Entourage, University of Winchester, July 2014)

‘A Family Affair? The Howard Women, Familial Political Strategy, and the Fall of Katherine Howard, 1541-2’ (invited speaker, University of Kent Research Seminar, November 2013)

I am currently a seminar secretary for the Society for Court Studies seminar series, and helped to set up and convene the Royal Holloway London Postgraduate Seminar between 2011 and 2013.