James Loxley and Anna Groundwater

Letting your digits do the walking: on the road with Ben Jonson, 1618 & 2013

A project to produce an annotated edition of a newly discovered manuscript account of Ben Jonson’s famed walk from London to Edinburgh in the summer of 1618 has involved the adoption of digital means and the exploration of digital possibilities at all stages of the research process. In this session, two members of the project team will talk about these digital dimensions, from discovery and investigation through to publication and public engagement.


Photo of James LoxleyJames Loxley is Professor in Early Modern Literature in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures. He has published on renaissance poetry and drama, with a particular focus on Ben Jonson and Andrew Marvell, and on the literature of the civil war period. He has also published on the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes and on issues in contemporary literary theory, especially the topic of performativity, and the work of Stanley Cavell. He recently led an AHRC-funded project researching the world-class collections of Shakespeare and early modern drama in Edinburgh libraries, culminating in an exhibition, ‘Beyond Macbeth‘, held at the National Library of Scotland in 2011-12.

In 2009 he discovered a manuscript of a hitherto unknown eyewitness account of Ben Jonson’s celebrated walk to Scotland in the summer of 1618, and he is now leading an AHRC-supported project to edit and annotate this text for publication in 2014.

Anna Groundwater photoAnna Groundwater is the research fellow on the Ben Jonson project here at Edinburgh, where she also lectures in early modern British and Scottish history, and teaches  palaeography.  Her research interests are in early modern English and Scottish government, social and cultural networks, communications and travel, frontiers and borderlands. She has published on the Union of the Crowns, the Scottish Borders, the interaction of government and social processes, and has articles in the next two issues of History Scotland on Ben Jonson, and early modern tourism in Scotland.

Her other area of interest is in promoting the awareness of academic projects relating to Scottish studies within secondary education, particularly through such projects making their findings available to explore online. She has Royal Society of Edinburgh funding for a conference next year for secondary teachers and academics, Mapping the Nation: representations of Scotland, 1200-1750.