Jill Burton

Jill Burton is an honorary Associate of The University of Adelaide node of the ARC Centre for the History of Emotions. As an associate research professor of applied linguistics, Jill taught until recently at the University of South Australia. Her research objective now marks a substantial change in direction: to investigate the notion of estate as it applies to women and their sense of entitlement to property and status. She is approaching this through a consideration of the female historian and archivist, what women record and what they restore, what they feel about their data and how they themselves are memorialised in them. The study begins with a consideration of Lady Anne Clifford (1590–1676), a diarist and archivist focused on her family inheritance in northern England. Anne’s inheritance quest entailed sustained litigation, during which she encountered opposition, which she steadfastly resisted, from scheming husbands and other relatives. Her quest found resolution during the English Civil Wars. Victorious in late middle-age, Anne retired to her properties, restoring them and compiling a massive multi-media resource, an important historical treasure-trove, now frequently tapped as a source of social history and writing in seventeenth-century England; it reflects how noblewomen felt then about family and how they went about preserving it.

To understand the context and importance of Anne Clifford and her writing primarily as a family-oriented historian, Jill’s own historical work is taking her back into the fifteenth century and then on through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to culminate with the writing of Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf.

Jill holds degrees in philosophy and politics, applied linguistics and education. She has taught at The University of Adelaide, Macquarie University, many universities in Southeast Asia and has carried out commissioned research for the Commonwealth and state governments of Australia. Her doctorate featured writing as a means of learning and the importance of publication in sustaining professional status ‒ subjects that can be seen to link with writing family history and memoir. Although her earlier projects ranged from research into dentist–patient communication and classroom language to work on academic discourse and editing and English as an international language, she has, despite these ‘distractions’, always retained an interest in history and how life gets written.




The Notion of Estate: Women and their Sense of Entitlement to Property and Status (1590‒1962)

Selected Publications

Academic Journal Reviews

Review, Bathsua Makin and Mary More with a Reply to More by Robert Whitehall: Educating English Daughters: Late Seventeenth-Century Debates, The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe, The Toronto Series, 44, Frances Teague and Margaret M J Ezell, Eds, Toronto, Ontario/Tempe, Arizona, Iter Academic Press/Arizona Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies). Emotions: History, Culture, Society 2.1 (2018): 171–73.

  1. Review, Genre and Women’s Life Writing in Early Modern England (Michelle M Dowd and Julie A Eckerle, Eds, London, Routledge). Life Writing. 4pp. DOI: 10.1080/14484528.2018.1478172.

  2. Review, Warring with Words: Narrative and Metaphor in Politics (Michael Hanna, William D Crano and Jeffery Scott Mio, Eds, Claremont Symposium on Applied Social Psychology Series, Oxford Psychology Press, Taylor & Francis Group). Studies in Continuing Education 40.2 (2018): 234–35. DOI: 10.1080/0158037X.2017.1384618.

Weekend Australian Book Reviews.

Review, A Free Flame: Australian Women Writers and Vocation in the Twentieth Century, Ann-Marie Priest, Perth, UWA Publishing, Weekend Australian, 27–28 January, 2018.

Review, Appointment in Arezzo: A Friendship with Muriel Spark, Alan Taylor, Edinburgh, Polygon, Weekend Australian, 30 March–1 April, 2018.

Review, Manderley Forever: The Life of Daphne Du Maurier, Tatiana de Rosnay, translated by Sam Taylor, London, Allen & Unwin, Weekend Australian, 16–17 June, 2018.

Burton, Jill. Review of Anne Clifford's Great Books of Record, edited by J. L. Malay. Manchester: University of Manchester Press, 2015. Life Writing (2016). Published online.

Burton, Jill, ‘All Manner of Dress’. Review of Thomas Hardy Writing Dress, by Simon Gatrell. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2011. Essays in Criticism 63.3 (2013): 344-51.

Selected Presentations

Seminar presentation: ‘Some Thoughts on History-Making: Lady Anne Clifford, 1590-1676’, Clare Hall Symposium, University of Cambridge, 27 April 2014.

Conference presentation: ‘Family Feeling: Lady Anne Clifford and Her Inheritance’, ‘Sourcing Emotions in the Medieval and Early Modern World’ conference, The University of Western Australia, 27 June 2013.