Diana Barnes

Dr Diana G. Barnes is a Lecturer in Literary Studies at the University of New England, and an Associate Investigator (AI 2012, 2015, 2017) with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE). She was previously a University of Queensland Postdoctoral Fellow affiliated with the School of Communication and Arts and the UQ node of CHE. She is a graduate of The University of Melbourne. Her interest in the emotions dates back to her doctorate which was a literary historical study of love and friendship in early modern letters. This interest has been further developed through her involvement with the CHE. She has a particular interest in the intersection between gender, emotion, history and literary genre. She has written on emotion and early modern letters, Puritan wifely ideals, and most recently passion and war in Margaret Cavendish’s Playes (1662).


(+61) +61 2 6773 4382


The Politics of Civility: Historicising Early Modern Genres of Community

Bellicose Passions in Margaret Cavendish’s Plays (1662)

Selected Publications


Epistolary Community in Print, 1580–1664. Farnham: Ashgate, 2013.

Book Chapters

‘Bellicose Passions in Margaret Cavendish’s Playes (1662)’. In Writing War in Britain and France, 1370–1854: A History of Emotions, edited by S. Downes, A. Lynch and K. O'Loughlin, pp. 127–44. London and New York: Routledge, 2019.

‘Emotional Debris in Early Modern Letters’. In Feeling Things: Objects and Emotions Through History, edited by Stephanie Downes, Sally Holloway and Sarah Randles, pp. 114–32. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

‘Poetry’. In Early Modern Emotions: An Introduction, edited by S. Broomhall, pp. 89‒91. London and New York: Routledge, 2017.

‘Epistolary Literature’. In Early Modern Emotions: An Introduction, edited by S. Broomhall, pp. 95‒98. London and New York: Routledge, 2017.

‘Remembering Civil War in Andrew Marvell’s “Upon Appleton House”’. In Emotions and War: Medieval to Romantic Literature, edited by A. Lynch, K. O’Loughlin and S. Downes, pp. 185-202. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

‘A Subject for Love in The Merry Wives of Windsor’. In Authority, Gender and Emotions in Late Medieval and Early Modern England, edited by S. Broomhall, pp.168-86. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

'Gender, Genre and Canonicity: Dorothy Osborne's Letters to Sir William Temple'. In Expanding the Canon of Early Modern Women, edited by Paul Salzman, pp. 49-65. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010.

'The Secretary of Ladies and Conversion at the Court of Henrietta Maria'.  In Henrietta Maria: Piety, Politics and Patronage, edited by Erin Griffey, pp. 39-56.  Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008. 

Refereed Journal Articles

Barnes, D. G. ‘Animal-Human Compassion: Structures of Feeling in Dark Pastoral’. Emotions: History, Culture, Society 4.1 (2020): 183–208. https://doi.org/10.1163/2208522X-02010090

Barnes, D. G., and D. Falconer. ‘Compassion, a Timely Feeling …’. Emotions: History, Culture, Society 4.1 (2020): 91–108. https://doi.org/10.1163/2208522X-02010093.

Barnes, D. G. ‘Wifely “Affection and Disposition”: Brilliana Harley and Thomas Gataker’s A Wife in Deed (1623)’. English Studies 98.7 (2017): 717–32 [DOI:10.1080/0013838X.2017.1339988]

'Tenderness, Tittle-tattle and Truth in Mother-daughter Letters: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Mary Wortley Montagu Stuart, Countess of Bute, and Lady Louisa Stuart’. Special issue ‘Letters Between Mothers and Daughters’, ed. Barbara Caine, Women’s History Review 24.4 (2015): 570-90. Re-publication to follow in Routledge Special Issues as Books Program.

'The Public Life of a Woman of Wit and Quality: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and the Vogue for Smallpox Inoculation'. Feminist Studies 38.2 (2012): 330-62.

'Philosophy in Familiar Epistolary Form in Margaret Cavendish’s Philosophical Letters (1664)'.  Special issue 'Friendship in Early Modern Philosophy and Science' ed. Richard Yeo and Vanessa Smith. Parergon 26.2 (2009): 39-64.

'Restoration of Royalist Form in Margaret Cavendish’s Sociable Letters (1664)'. Meridian: The La Trobe University English Review 8.1 (2001): 201-14.

Recent Talks and Conference Papers
Conference Panel Paper: ‘Gender, Stoicism and the Archives’, Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, Chicago, 30 March–1 April 2017.

‘Myth and Emotion “clowdily enwrapped” in Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene’, ‘Myth and Emotion in Early Modern Europe’ CHE symposium, The University of Melbourne, 10 March 2016.

‘Stoicism in Dorothy Osborne’s Letters’,‘Afterlives of Hellenistic Ethics’ CHE symposium, The University of Queensland, 8 April 2016.

‘Bellicose Passions in Margaret Cavendish’s Playes (1662)’, International Margaret Cavendish Society Conference, Centre for Visual Arts Research, Nicosia, Cyprus, 17-20 June 2015.

‘Emotional Debris in Early Modern Letters’, WEMLO Symposium, University of Oxford, 14-15 August 2014.

‘Remembering Civil War in Andrew Marvell’s “Upon Appleton House”’, ‘In Form of War: Emotions and Warfare in Writing 1300-1820 CHE symposium,The University of Western Australia, 27-28 June 2014.

‘Epistolary Rhetoric in The Merry Wives of Windsor’, ‘Arts and Rhetorics of Emotion in Early Modern Europe’ CHE collaboratory, The University of Queensland, 25-27 November 2013.

‘“I grieve at thy lot my friend”: Classical Heritage in Early Modern Letters’, ‘A History of Heritage: Emotions in Blood, Stone and Land’ CHE collaboratory, Hobart, 9-10 September 2013.

‘“I hope the Lord, will give me strength to beare what he lays upon me”: Brilliana Harley a Reluctant Political Agent’, ‘Gender and Political Culture, 1400-1800’ conference, Plymouth University, 29-30 August 2013.

‘Emoting Suburbia: London City Comedy of the 1630s’, ‘Genre, Affect and Authority in Early Modern Europe, 1517-1688’ conference, The University of Melbourne, 11-12 July 2013.

‘Emotional Debris in Early Modern Letters’, ‘Feeling Things; A Symposium on Objects and Emotion’ CHE symposium, The University of Melbourne, 14 March 2013.