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Sarah Birt

Contact details

Twitter @SarahBirt


Title of thesis

  • A Fashionable Business: Mantuamakers, Milliners and Seamstresses in London c. 1670 – 1770
  • My project will explore the agency of women engaged in business in London with a comprehensive study of the three occupational identities of mantua maker, milliner and seamstress.


Research interests

  • I am primarily interested in the social, economic and cultural contributions made by women in early modern Britain and have previously focused on the work of female artists, particularly the portraitist Mary Beale, placing her life and work in context with her seventeenth-century contemporaries.

Papers given

  • Mary Beale 1633 - 1699, The Landscape of Occupations in Pre-Industrial Britain and Continental Europe c.1400-1750, University of Exeter, 2014
  • Vice & Virtue: Reputations of Working Women in Early Modern London, Birkbeck Early Modern Society Annual Conference, Birkbeck, 2014
  • Mary Beale in Context, Staff Research Seminar, National Portrait Gallery, London, 2013