Competition: US & Canada
Education: Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University
Claire Preston was born and raised in Illinois and Maine but has spent her adult life in England. After earning her D.Phil. in English Literature at Oxford, she taught at that university for several years before moving to Cambridge University in 1990, where she is a fellow and lecturer in Renaissance English Literature at Sidney Sussex College. She has published on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature (including Shakespeare, Spenser, Sidney, Jonson, and Browne), and her research interests lie in the literature of scientific revolution and the mutual influence of scientific investigation and literary practice; and in word-image studies, with special attention to the rhetorical figure ekphrasis, and to the early-modern culture of emblems of imprese. In addition, she has written about American literature of the Gilded Age. Her Guggenheim Fellowship supports her current project, which is a study of literary-scientific writing in the ‘long’ seventeenth century; this project is also supported by the British Academy.
Her books include Sir Thomas Browne: The World Proposed (co-edited with Reid Barbour) (Oxford, 2008); Bee (Reaktion Books, 2006); Thomas Browne and the Writing of the Early-Modern Science (Cambridge, 2005; winner of the British Academy’s Rose Mary Crawshay Prize); and Edith Wharton’s Social Register (Macmillan/St. Martin’s 2000). She has also edited works by Thomas Browne and Edith Wharton. Her recreations are the cello, sailing, writing fiction, following politics, and moose-spotting.