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Dr Elizabeth Foyster

Dr Elizabeth Foyster

Senior College Lecturer in History (Part-time),

Director of Studies

Clare College
Cambridge CB2 1TL
Office Phone: 01223 3 33237

Departments and Institutes

Clare College:

Research Interests

Elizabeth Foyster's field of research is the social history of Britain from the seventeenth to the mid nineteenth century. She specialises in family and gender history.  She has published on topics such as children and marriage breakdown, remarriage, and parenting.  Her most recent research has been investigating the impact on eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century English families of caring for people with learning difficulties and mental illness.  Her most recent book examines the life of the 3rd earl of Portsmouth, who was the subject of a sensational Commission of Lunacy in 1823.


The social and economic history of Britain, c.1550-1850


  • British social history c.1600-1850

Key Publications

  • Series Editor, and Volume 2 Editor, with Christopher A. Whatley of A History of Everyday Life in Scotland c.1200 to the Present Day (Edinburgh, 2010-11)
  • Series Editor, and Volume 4 Editor, with James Marten of A Cultural History of Childhood and Family (Oxford, 2010)
  • Marital Violence: An English Family History, 1660-1857 (Cambridge, 2005)
  • Editor, with Helen Berry, The Family in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2007)
  • Manhood in Early Modern England (London, 1999)
  • 'At the limits of liberty: married women and confinement in eighteenth-century England' Continuity and Change 17 (2002)
  • 'Creating a veil of silence? Politeness and marital violence in the English household' Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 12 (2002)
  • 'Prisoners writing home: the functions of their letters c.1680-1800' Journal of Social History 47,4 (2014)
  • 'The "New World of Children" reconsidered: child abduction in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century England' Journal of British Studies 52,3 (2013).
  • The Trials of the King of Hampshire: Madness, Secrecy and Betrayal in Georgian England (Oneworld, 2016).