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Dr Lucy Rayfield ~ Archive Page for Info Only


Lucy Rayfield joined Warwick’s Centre for the Study of the Renaissance as a Research Fellow in October 2019, after being awarded the MHRA Research Scholarship in the Modern European Languages. She is working on her first book, Poetics, Politics and Performance in French and Italian Renaissance Comedy which is a comparative study of French and Italian comic theatre in the sixteenth century. As well as documenting the transition of comic drama used as a scholarly exercise to drama reinvented in print and performance, this book is also focused on laughter as a polemical weapon, assessing the ways in which French humanists used comedy to fulfil their political and cultural ends, particularly in relation to their Italian forerunners.

Lucy is also a Research Associate in Modern Languages at St Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford, and a Lecturer in French at the University of Exeter.

Research interests

Lucy is interested in cross-cultural relations in the early modern period, primarily between France and Italy; however, she also researches links between France, Italy and England. Additionally, Lucy works on humour theory in the sixteenth century, evaluating the causes and effects of laughter in early modern writings, focusing on a range of literary practices such as jestbooks, rhetorical treatises and medical handbooks. She has completed a chapter on laughter in France, Italy and England for the Palgrave Handbook of Humour, History, and Methodology, and is currently completing on a chapter evaluating the influence of French and Italian comedy on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night for a volume entitled TheIngannati’ Franchise: Metamorphoses of a Shakespearean Source.

Lucy enjoys editing early modern texts, and is completing a new edition of Thomas Kyd’s 1594 play Cornelia, a translation of Robert Garnier’s Cornélie. This edition will be published with Boydell and Brewer as part of The Collected Works of Thomas Kyd.


RS904 (Renaissance Culture and Society, MA programme)

RS300-15 (Renaissance Europe I: Foundations and Forms)

IP304 (Posthumous Geographies I: Underworlds)

Selected publications


Poetics, Performance and Politics in French and Italian Renaissance Comedy (Legenda, forthcoming 2021), 240pp.

 Edited Works

— Thomas Kyd, Cornelia, in The Collected Works of Thomas Kyd, ed. by D. Freebury-Jones, B. Vickers (Boydell and Brewer, forthcoming 2021), 140pp.

 Book Chapters

— ‘Rewriting ‘Humour’ in Early Modern Europe’, in The Palgrave Handbook of Humour, History, and Methodology, ed. by H. Burrows, D. Derrin (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2020), 29pp.

— ‘Charles Estienne and Les Abusez: A New Model for Comedy’, in TheIngannati’ Franchise: Metamorphoses of a Shakespearean Source, ed. by M. McLaughlin, E. Tarantino, 36pp.

 Book Reviews

— H. Taylor, The Lives of Ovid in Seventeenth-Century French Culture (OUP, 2017), Modern Language Review (October 2019).

— T. V. Kennedy, Women’s Deliberation: The Heroine in Early Modern French Women’s Theatre (1650-1750) (Routledge, 2018), Early Modern Women (October 2019).

— A. Cayuela, M. Vuillermoz, eds., Les mots et les choses du théâtre: France, Italie, Espagne, XVIe-XVIIe siècles (Droz, 2017), French Studies (April 2019).

— J. Stefano, G. Pieri, eds., Chivalry, Academy, and Cultural Dialogues: The Italian Contribution to European Culture, Italian Perspectives; 31 (Legenda, 2017), Modern Language Review (January 2019).

— B. Papenburg, ed., Gender: Laughter (Macmillan, 2017), International Society for Humour Studies Quarterly Publication (August 2018).

 Conference Papers

— ‘Translating Dante’s Inferno into Welsh: An Outreach Workshop’, Multilingualism and Multi-identities in Wales: a Creative Approach to Research and Practice, November 2019.

— ‘Festival and Diplomacy in the Ballet de Circé (1627)’, Society for European Festivals Research Conference, Turin, September 2019.

— ‘Reevaluating Theatrical Space in Early Modern France’, Before Shakespeare Conference, University of Roehampton, London, August 2017.

— ‘Humour and Heritage: Theories on Comic Theatre in Early Modern France’, Humours of the Past Collaboratory: ‘Humour, History and Methodology: A Multidisciplinary and Trans-Professional Enquiry’, University of Durham, July 2017.

— ‘Charles Estienne and Theories on Comic Theatre’, French Graduate Showcase, Maison Française, Oxford, April 2017.

— ‘Charles Estienne: France’s Forerunner of Humanist Comedy’, International Society for Humour Studies Conference, Trinity College Dublin, July 2016.

— ‘Patronage and Performance in Sixteenth-Century French Comedy’, Institute of Modern Languages Research Forum, Senate House, London, June 2016.

— ‘Humanist Comedy at the Early Modern French Court: The Italian Impact’, British Graduate Shakespeare Conference, Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, May 2016.

— ‘The Migration of Italian Comedy into Early Modern France: Gabiano, Roffet and L’Angelier’, Italian Graduate Seminar, Taylor Institution, Oxford, March 2016.

— ‘A New Perspective on French and Italian Renaissance Theatre’, Arts and Humanities Research Council Forum, St Anne’s College, Oxford, October 2015.

— ”Qui Meurt Suyvant Dieu est Heureux’: Providence and Paradox in French Renaissance Biblical Tragedy’, Institute of Modern Languages Research Forum, Senate House, London, May 2015.


— ‘A Bright Future for the Welsh Language’, Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies Blog (contributor)

— ‘Renaissance Theatre in France’, Adventures on the Bookshelf Blog, January 2016.

— ‘St Cross Historical Collections Centre’, Balliol College Annual Report, January 2016.

— ‘Performance of the Bacchae at the East Oxford Community Classics Centre’, Oxford Early Career Academic Outreach Network Blog, February 2015.