skip to primary navigationskip to content

Sophie Pitman


My research, funded by the AHRC and supervised by Ulinka Rublack, explores the culture and making of clothing in early modern London (c.1560-1660). I work with extant objects as well as archival, visual and literary sources.

From January - May 2016, I was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, sponsored by Professor Pamela Smith and the Center for Science and Society, as part of the 'Making and Knowing' Project:


Research Interests

Early modern material culture, clothing, visual and literary culture, reconstruction, materiality, craft, consumption, and the history of emotions. 


At Cambridge, I supervise the first year paper on economic and social history of Britain 1500-1750 and the third year paper on 'Material Culture in the Early Modern World.'

I was also a Teaching Assistant for the Survey of Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture at the Bard Graduate Center, New York, in Spring Term 2016.

Other Professional Activities

Researcher, ‘Colouring the Early Modern World’, Cambridge Humanities Research Grant: September 2015– May 2016

Project Administrator, Kepler’s Trial: An Opera, St John’s College, Cambridge: September – December 2015

Research Assistant on the 'Treasured Possessions from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment' exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum (24 March- 6 September 2015)

Since 2014, I have convened "Things: Material Cultures of the Early Modern World", a seminar hosted by CRASSH, Cambridge and I am now an advisory coordinator.

Graduate Outreach Officer for the History Faculty (2013-15)

Postgraduate Mentor for the University of Cambridge (2014-present)



  • Early Modern History

Key Publications

‘Prodigal Years?: Negotiating luxury and fashioning identity in a seventeenth century account book,’ Luxury: History, Culture, Consumption (November 2016), 7-31. Read here 

‘Redressing London: sumptuary laws and the control of clothing in the early modern city,’ in Peter Goodrich (ed.) A Cultural History of Law in the Early Modern Age (Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2017).

Other Publications

‘Puzzle Jug,’ ‘Shoes,’ ‘Dressing the Male Body,’ ‘Dressing the Female Body,’ ‘Under-bodice,’ ‘Stomachers,’ ‘Embroidery and Textiles,’ ‘Purse,’ ‘Book Cover,’ ‘Cabinet,’ Treasured Possessions from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, ed. Victoria Avery, Melissa Calaresu and Mary Laven (Philip Wilson, 2015), 82, 117-119, 126-9, 150-1, 220-1, 225, 252, 260-1.

‘Women, Work and Sociability in Early Modern London by Tim Reinke Williams,’ book review, Social History Vol. 40, 4, 2015, 538-40.

‘Textiles and the Origins of Industrial Revolutions: Linking Markets and Techniques,’ conference review, Textile History, 46 (2), November 2015, 258-60.