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Jessica Hodgkinson

History, University of Leicester

Thesis title:

Gender and Literacy: the participation of women in book culture in England and Francia, c.650 – c.950

This project explores the active participation of women in book culture – the production, use and exchange of books, facilitated and sustained by literate networks – in early medieval England and Francia between c. 650 and c. 950. 

Through analysis of extant manuscripts patronised, written, owned and/or used by women, both individually and collectively, this project seeks to advance knowledge and understanding of the nature, extent and significance of women’s involvement in early medieval literary networks, highlighting how women could use books and book culture to exercise agency and pursue their own aims. 

Research Area

  • History


Blog posts 

Jessica Hodgkinson and John Barrett, 'Women in the Margins: Eadburg and Bodleian Library, MS. Selden Supra 30', The Conveyor: News from the Bodleian Libraries Centre for the Study of the Book, 2022 <https://blogs.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/theconveyor/women-in-the-margins-eadburg-and-bodleian-library-ms-selden-supra-30/>

Jessica Hodgkinson, 'Abbesses and Early Medieval Book Culture', Journal of the History of Ideas blog, 2022 <https://jhiblog.org/2022/03/23/abbesses-and-early-medieval-book-culture/>

Book Reviews

Jessica Hodgkinson [review], 'Jane Hawkes and Meg Boulton (eds), All Roads Lead to Rome: The Creation, Context and Transmission of the Codex Amiatinus. Turnhout: Brepols, 2019. pp. XX + 200. €75. ISBN: 78-2-503-58142-2', Nottingham Medieval Studies, 66 (forthcoming, 2022) 

Jessica Hodgkinson [review], 'Kathryn Maude, Addressing Women in Early Medieval Religious Texts. D. S. Brewer. Cambridge 2021. Xiii +207 pp. £60. ISBN 9781843845966', Peritia, 33 (forthcoming, 2022)


"Gloria in excelsis deo: demoting the archbishopric of Lichfield"; Ecclesiastical History Society Postgraduate Colloquium; DeMontfort University; 6 November 2019 

Other Research Interests

  • The development and use of insular scripts in continental scriptoria
  • The "Mercian supremacy" and Mercian ecclesiastical institutions, particularly the archbishopric of Lichfield 


Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship 

Research work

Research Fellow for A Literary History of Mercia: Scribes, Stories, Scholarship c. 600-1100 (September 2022 - September 2023). Project funded by the British Academy. PI: Dr Christine Rauer, University of St Andrews