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A new online seminar series retracing the routes of people and objects between the Iberian Peninsula and the British Isles in the early modern period. Organised by the Warburg Institute with the support of the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Gobierno de España.


Chair: Glyn Redworth (University of Oxford) 

'Texts and nuns on the run: itinerant texts for itinerant persecuted communities' - Ana Sáez-Hidalgo (University of Valladolid)

If there is something that defines the early modern period, it is doubtlessly an increase in mobility: people, material objects, news, information, travelled around the globe. This presentation will explore the interaction between the female exiled communities and the texts disseminated by them as part of a strategy to preserve, memorialize, and protect their religious and national identities. My subject is the first-person accounts of persecution, exile, and travel by English religious women, keystones for the early establishment of the channels of news dissemination and of print culture related to the English Mission.

'Choice, necessity and laissez-faire in the conversion narratives of early modern Irish Protestant visitors to Portugal' - Thomas O’Connor (National University of Ireland Maynooth)

A brisk trading relationship existed between the southern Irish ports and Portugal from at least the late 15th century, and evidence of a permanent Irish community in Lisbon exists from the middle of the 16th century. During the Tudor conquest of Ireland Lisbon acted as a refuge for Irish political and religious exiles, mostly Catholics. However, in the seventeenth and especially the eighteenth centuries, Lisbon's trading and employment opportunities attracted numerous Protestant Irish, many of whom converted to Catholicism. Their conversion testimonies, preserved in the archives of the Portuguese Inquisition, offer important insights into the meaning of religious conversion under the ancien régime. 

Ana Sáez-Hidalgo, Ph.D. in English studies and M.A. in Spanish literature, is Associate Professor of English literary and cultural studies at the Universidad de Valladolid. Her research is concerned with late medieval and early modern Anglo-Spanish cultural and literary relations, with special focus on book culture. Her most recent publications explore the cross-cultural dimension of the textual and material exchanges between Spain and England. Her books include Exile, Diplomacy and Texts: Exchanges between Iberia and the British Isles, 1500–1767 (2020, co-edited with B. Cano-Echevarría), John Gower in England and Iberia: Manuscripts, Influences, Reception (2014; co-edited with R.F. Yeager). She has co-edited The Fruits of Exile: Emblems and Pamphlets from the English College at Valladolid (2009, with B. Cano-Echevarría) and published editions and Spanish translations of Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy and Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde

Thomas O’Connor is professor in early modern history in the National University of Ireland Maynooth and director of the University’s Arts and Humanities Institute. His research interests are in early modern migration from Ireland to the continent, and in digital historical prosopography. He has published on Irish Enlightenment figures, Irish Jansenists and British-Irish links with the Spanish Inquisition. He is principal investigator of the Clericus Project, which has developed data processing and visualisation tools for early modern and modern biographical records. He is a member of the Fondation Irlandaise (Paris), has served on the Irish Manuscripts Commission, and has been editor of the history sources journal, Archivium Hibernicum (2000-20021).