About The Author

img_5248Hello! I’m Dr Sophie Duncan, and I’m an academic based at the Calleva Centre, Magdalen College, University of Oxford, where I research Shakespeare in performance, cognition, Victorian literature, and audience psychology.  My first book, Shakespeare’s Women and the Fin de Siecle, is out now from Oxford University Press! My new projects include work on props and cognition and on Oscar Wilde. I teach broadly from the Renaissance to the present day. If you want to hear me talking about my research, why not listen to my episode of The Essay on BBC Radio Three? It’s about Shakespeare and the suffragettes. For something completely different, here I am talking about why tragedy is good for you (spoiler: endorphins) on the BBC World Service. And if you want to read the science-article-version (open access hurrah), it’s here.

I’m also a dramaturg and historical advisor. I have a longstanding involvement with Lolita Chakrabarti’s award-winning Red Velvet, directed by Indhu Rubasingham. You can read about my work on the production here. I’ve worked with/for/on the following: BBC Radio 4, the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, BBC1, New Vic Theatre, Jermyn Street, and BBC Radio 3.


I broadcast and give talks regularly on all aspects of my work, and also on feminist issues and Oxbridge life. I’m always looking for new collaborations – get in touch!

There’s more about my research at academia.edu and on my college profile. There’s more about… everything else on Twitter and Instagram.

Having sustained a professional veneer thus far, I should add that I can’t drive, cook, ride a bicycle, sew on a button or rewire a plug (my wife can), but that I’m immensely good at seeing theatre for free and having opinions about cross-gender casting. I look soulful in the photo because it’s a selfie, I was once allowed to bid Magdalen College’s money on Oscar Wilde ephemera and stayed in budget, and I still get ID’d in pubs. My Mastermind subject would either be the life and times of Ellen Terry or detective novels set in Oxford. I think ‘bad quarto’ is an excellent description of the Q1 Hamlet, I prefer Hamburg to Berlin and I’m an advocate of single-sex schools. I’m currently supervising a dissertation on stand-up comedy. I used to value antiquarian books for Oxfam. My absolute hot-button frothing-with-rage political issue is foxhunting; even typing the word makes me angry. This paragraph is the paragraph I change most often. Nancy is my favourite Mitford.



20 thoughts on “About The Author

  1. You left a comment on the Queer Eye Candy wondering if all the commenters know each other.. some of us do, sort of. I know roxy, of course, she and I are long distance lovers. Sinclair I know through his blog and through email correspondence and twitter. Ditto for Tina, Panthera Pardus, Essin’ Em and Greg.. just a big happy bloggin, twitterin family I guess 🙂

    Thanks for your comments on the pictures


  2. Hello,

    This is Rose writing from http://www.huliq.com. I visited your blog and liked your content.

    Would you be interested to send us a guest post on any of the issues related to the topics that you cover in your blog. We will publish it in our site http://www.huliq.com

    In return with each guest blog we will give one link in the author’s biline back to your blog. We only ask that the guest post ( we prefer it be a news coverage, sources can be Google News, CNN, MSNBC, Yahoo News, BBC and others) be a unique story and not be published in your blog.

    HULIQ is indexed by Google News and Google requires that the length of the unique news is at least 5 paragraphs. We desire it to be at least 6 paragraphs if possible. And that all need to be a unique content. Once you send us a new story totally unique we will immediately publish it with you link in it, and within 15 minutes it should be indexed by Google News.

    Please let me know if you may have any questions about http://www.huliq.com.

    If you want to consult the topic with me first that’s perfectly fine as well.

    Many thanks


  3. I found your information re Sir George Alexander very interesting as my grandmother was his half sister. My grandmother had kept various pieces of memorabilia, which I have. I did not know about Hugh Laurie being related to Sir George, but I will look at my family Bible that has our family tree to work out if this is correct.


    • Thank you so much for commenting! I’d be fascinated to hear more about what you discover. What memorabilia do you have? Please do drop me an email if you’d prefer.


      • I am sorry I have replied so long after your post. I lost this site…I do have various things that may be of interest..Including portraits of George Alexander’s Mother and father..
        Please email me if you are still interested.Best wishes Lulu


    • Hi! In principle, I’d be delighted except your link doesn’t seem to be working. Could you resend it? The title sounds very interesting, so once I’ve had a look I’d be happy to send you my details.




    • Great news, have just emailed. Thanks!

      Your email did show, so have nix’d your other comment to save you from spambots. I look forward to hearing from you.


  4. Sophie,

    This is not the place for this, but would you contact me as I am very keen for you to do some tutoring for my daughter sarah. Can you email me s.margetson at yahoo co uk

    sorry to “pester” you like this but Sarah (my daughter) needs your help

    PS: This is a great blog by the way!


  5. Hi Sophie,

    Misfit Inc and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust are running the Happy Birthday Shakespeare project again this year, please drop me an email so I can let you know the details. We’d love to have you involved again this year as your 2011 post was fabulous!

    Hope you’re well,

    All the best,

    Jessie White


    • Hi Jessie,

      For some reason your email isn’t showing up, but mine is sophievduncan [at] gmail [dot] com! Look forward to hearing from you, and thanks for thinking of me.


  6. Hi Sophie,

    My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.

    I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog CLAMOROUS VOICE has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 30 Shakespeare Blogs on the web.


    I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 30 Shakespeare Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

    Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s