Holly O'Connell, 3rd Year English Literature
I used material in Special Collections for my undergraduate dissertation. This explored poetic responses to the invention of the microscope between 1660 and 1760 and was the first large research project I had undertaken.
I studied modules on Restoration and Eighteenth-Century literature in my second year and my dissertation topic grew from these. My scope was initially very broad, but I found that by focussing on something as specific as one scientific tool, the microscope, I was able to look at its representation over a long period of time and cover both of the periods which interested me.
As part of my early research, a tutor recommended that I look at the poems of Margaret Cavendish. Through Search@Library, I found that there are no modern printed editions of Cavendish’s poetry at the University of Leeds. However, Special Collections holds a first edition of her Poems and Fancies (1653).
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