The Stuart Successions Project

In the early modern period, moments of royal and protectoral succession generated huge quantities of writing. Major authors, amongst them Jonson, Drayton, Donne, Marvell, Dryden, Behn, and Defoe contributed to this body of literature, which spans a range of forms: from panegyric to polemic to sermon to satire to history to drama.

The Stuart Successions Project sheds new light on this body of succession literature. Central to the project’s research is the online bibliographical database of writing printed in response to moments of succession from 1603 to 1702. The completed version provide a detailed map for users to start investigating who was writing and producing succession literature, the forms it took during the period, and the themes on which it focussed.

The database has underpinned a variety of original research highlighting the diverse agendas manifest in succession writing, how it changed over the turbulent course of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and its interactions with other material facets of early modern political culture.