Photo of Dr Anna French

Dr Anna French BA, PhD (Birmingham), FRHistS

Lecturer in Early Modern History History


    Early Modern Infancy and Childhood

    My monograph, 'Children of Wrath: Possession, Prophecy and the Young in Early Modern England' (Ashgate and Routledge), was published in 2015. This work considered how changes to religious beliefs during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries impacted upon, or shaped, perceptions of the young.

    My current research explores early modern perceptions of early life-cycle, from conception to early infancy. I am also interested in the rite of baptism, and how beliefs surrounding the efficacy of the ceremony changed during this period. I am working on a second monograph, provisionally entitled ‘The Salvation Problem: Infant Sin in Early Modern England’.

    Research Groups and Societies

    I am currently General Secretary for the European Reformation Research Group, and a participating member of the Reformation Studies Colloquium, the Sixteenth Century Society, the Renaissance Society of America, the Children's History Society UK and the Pregnancy Researchers’ Network. I am also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

    Selected Reviews

    • “Adriano Prosperi, ‘Infanticide, Secular Justice, and Religious Debate in Early Modern Society’”, Journal of Ecclesiastical History (2017)

    • “Ronald Hutton (ed.), ‘Physical Evidence for Ritual Acts, Sorcery and Witchcraft in Christian Britain: A Feeling for Magic’”, Journal of Ecclesiastical History (2017)

    • “Marcus Harmes and Victoria Bladen, ‘Supernatural and Secular Power in Early Modern England’”, English Historical Review (2016)

    • “Lucy Underwood, ‘Childhood, Youth and Religious Dissent in Post-Reformation England’”, British Catholic History (2015)

    • “Philip C Almond, ‘The Devil: A New Biography’”, Journal of Ecclesiastical History (2015)

    • “Brian Levack, ‘The Devil Within: Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West’”, English Historical Review (2014)

    • “Michael A. LaCombe, ‘Political Gastronomy: Food and Authority in the English Atlantic World’”, Sixteenth Century Journal (2014)

    • “Patrick Collinson, Polly Ha (ed.), ‘The Reception of Continental Reformation in Britain’”, English Historical Review (2013)

    • “Kenneth G. Appold, ‘The Reformation: A Brief History’”, Theology (2012)

    • “Joan Fitzpatrick (ed.), ‘Renaissance Food from Rabelais to Shakespeare; Culinary readings and Culinary Histories’”, Sixteenth Century Journal (2012)

    • “J. Patrick Hornbeck II, ‘What is a Lollard?’”, Theology (2011)

    • “James Kearney, ‘The Incarnate Text, Imagining the Book in Reformation England’”, Sixteenth Century Journal (2011)

    • “Eamon Duffy, ‘Fires of Faith: Catholic England under Mary Tudor’”, Theology (2010)