Charmian Mansell



College: College of Humanities
Discipline: History
Department: Humanities

I am a current PhD candidate at the University of Exeter, based within the Department of History. My doctoral research, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, examines the experiences of female servants in the south west of England from 1550-1650, with a specific focus on their appearance within the consistory court depositions of Devon, Cornwall and Gloucestershire.

My project is a comparative study across the landscape of the south west of England and aims to present a more holistic picture of service, extracting and analysing contextual information about female servants and their experiences of service as a stage in the lifecycle.  The project explores the relationships female servants fostered with their employers, members of the household in which they served, friends and neighbours in order to better understand female servant identity within local communities.  It investigates the meaning of 'community' and the impact that landscape might have upon a community and the integration and inclusion of its inhabitants.  It also reevaluates many of the preconceptions we have of early modern service, considering the forms of work female servants did as well as the social and demographic backgrounds from which female servants came.  I am currently in the third year of my PhD and my supervisory team is Professor Jane Whittle and Professor Henry French.

Before coming to Exeter, I completed both my BA in History and Philosophy and MA in Reformation and Early Modern Studies at the University of Birmingham.  My main research interests lie in early modern social and cultural history as well as women's work and ideas of community.

Twitter handle: @charmianmansell