I am the Research Lecturer in Renaissance English at Trinity College, Oxford. My interest in Jerusalem in early modern literature was sparked off by working on King John (for a chapter in Texts and Traditions: Religion in Shakespeare, 1592-1604 (OUP, 2006)) and being puzzled when the Bastard suggests that his side should ‘do like the mutines in Jerusalem’.
I was interested by the fact that while I was unaware of the event to which he was referring (it is a league of the different factions in Josephus’s account of the Roman siege of the city) it was clear that Shakespeare expected his relatively unlettered audience to have no difficulty with the allusion. The research that this occasioned has shown that there was a fascination with the Roman siege of Jerusalem in sixteenth and seventeenth century England, traces of which are found in sermons, ballads, plays, poems and even puppet shows from the period.
I have published a number of articles and book chapters on this topic (in Studies in Philology (2011); Streete, ed. Early Modern Drama and the Bible: Context and Readings, 1570-1625 (2012) and forthcoming in Gallagher and Brownlee, eds, Biblical Women in Early Modern Literary Culture) including one on the subversive nature of the original reference to the siege of Jerusalem in King John (forthcoming in Loewenstein and Witmore, eds, Shakespeare and Varieties of Early Modern Religious Belief (2013)).
My research into Jerusalem as portrayed in travel narratives of the period has lead to articles on the cross-over between travel and pilgrimage in the period (in Milton Studies (2012)) and the Sixteenth Century Journal (2012)) the latter of which won the Sixteenth Century Society’s Literature Prize in 2013. I am currently finishing a monograph on the topic, provisionally entitled Jerusalem Destroyed: the Roman fall in early modern English literature.