Tim Somers - student profile

Tim Somers - photoTIM SOMERS

I am interested in the history of collecting and early modern print culture. My thesis is titled 'John Bagford and the Collection of Cheap Print in Later Stuart Britain'. Collectors such as Bagford preserved, arranged and displayed cheap, ephemeral and ubiquitous genres of print that were usually thrown away or used until their disintegration. These include broadside ballads, playing cards and various types of pamphlet literature. They offer a vital window into the mentalities of 'non-elites' and a growing 'public' for political information. My research moves away from the textual analysis of cheap print to focus on its material context within these collections. Doing so provides evidence of cheap print's 'reception', which in turn sheds light on the wider practices of consumers, readers and publishers. The thesis argues that the transformation of cheap print into a collectible developed out of the later Stuart period's vibrant scientific and antiquarian activity, increased consumerism and partisan political culture.


BA History (First class) – Goldsmiths, University of London

MA History (Distinction) – University of Warwick



'Tradesmen in Virtuoso Culture: ‘Honest’ John Bagford and his collecting network, 1686-1716', Huntington Library Quarterly (Forthcoming, 2018).




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