Skip to main content Skip to navigation

ePortfolio of Hannah Straw

‘Those Nauseous Harlequins’: The Court Wits and Restoration Politics and Ideology, 1660-1685

The Court Wits were a group of flashy, imaginative poets, playwrights and noblemen who flourished after the restoration of King Charles II in 1660. The Wits existed in a society characterised by political and social turmoil, much like our own. The Wits adopted a radical anti-establishment attitude not just in their work, but in their everyday lives and, over a twenty-year period, came to exemplify the excess, flair and experimental, performative nature of post-Interregnum political culture. My research seeks to examine the Court Wits’ interaction with Restoration politics, society and ideology – looking at both their literary works and their performative lives. While much of the scholarship on the Court Wits has sought to frame them as figures of literary importance, their contemporaries saw them as fixtures in the political landscape of Restoration London – and integral part of my research is the reframing of the Wits not just as literary figures, but as actors on the political stage.

Research Interests

  • Early modern political culture
  • The legacy of the English Civil Wars
  • Sexual morality in the Early Modern world
  • Relationship between politics, language and literature in the Early Modern period

Academic Profile

  • 2018 – present, University of Warwick, PhD
  • 2016 – 2017, University of Kent, MRes, ‘Everybody’s King’: Charles II and the Representation of Restoration Rule in England, 1660-1679’
  • University of Kent, BA History

Scholarships and Awards

  • 2018 - 2022 – Warwick Departmental Scholarship

Conference Papers

  • ‘“Everybody’s King”: Commemorative Ceramics and King Charles II’, University of Kent MEMS Festival, University of Kent, 2018
  • Restoration Visual Culture and Charles II’s Escape from Worcester, University of Kent MEMS Festival, University of Kent, 2017

Other Experience

  • Canterbury Cathedral archive assistant
  • Newstead Abbey, Nottingham, Visitor Assistant
Hannah Straw