I am an Early Modern Historian of the seventeenth century, specialising in the court of Charles I, Stuart-Bourbon relations and Gender History. I completed my doctoral studies at Durham University, gaining my PhD in 2010. My thesis covered the female court and household of Queen Henrietta Maria, 1625-69. I am a Senior Fellow of Advance Higher (formerly the HEA) and in 2016 was honoured by the Times Higher Education awards as the Most Innovative Teacher in the UK. In 2017, I was interviewed by the Times Higher Education online platform on 'What does good University teaching look like?' I currently sit on the Steering Committee for History UK. An example of my teaching practice has appeared within the National Archives collaborative guidance for Archives and Higher Education.
I moved to the Open University from Canterbury Christ Church University, where I was a Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History and Director of Employability for the School of Humanities. I am on the module team for A223 (Early Modern Europe: Society and Culture c.1500-1780) and I cluster manage teaching on A105 (Voices, Texts and Material Culture) and A111 (Discovering the Arts and Humanities).
My research interests chiefly concern the female court and household of Queen Henrietta Maria, above all the political, social and religious roles that Caroline court women played in the period 1625-69. My first monograph is under contract with Manchester University Press. I have recently co-edited collections of essays on Stuart Marriage Diplomacy: Dynastic Politics in their European Context, 1604-1630 (Boydell and Brewer, 2018) and 'The Joyning of the bright Lillie, and the Rose': Celebrations for the Wedding of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, 1625 (Brepols, forthcoming 2020). I am currently co-editing a Special Issue of Women's History Review journal on premodern queenship and diplomacy (forthcoming, 2020).
I am presently working on transnational relations between the Dutch Republic and the Stuart crown in 1641-3. My mode of enquiry is the visual, artistic and ceremonial culture of the House of Orange and the journey of Henrietta Maria to the United Provinces. My research considers the complex dynastic, domestic and continental issues within which the queen was forced to operate.
My teaching interests span the early modern period from a European and British perspective. I am particularly interested in the study of gender, court culture, diplomacy and interdynastic policy. I also have taught modules that explore social changes across the period on account of the Renaissance and Reformation. Modules that I have convened include first year survey courses on early modern Europe, the Tudors, the royal European court and - a source based course - Sex, Deviance and Death in early modern Britain.
I am passionate about student-led teaching that encourages peer learning and embeds holistic skills developement within the module content and outcomes. I led on the development of an employability module, Applied Humanities in the Workplace, during my time at Canterbury Christ Church University as Director of Employability for the School of Humanities. I now sit on the module team for A223.
Review of Erin Griffey, on display Henrietta Maria and the materials of magnificence at the Stuart Court (Yale: Yale University Press, 2016) in The Art Newspaper, Vol. XXVI, No. 285 (December, 2016) (2016)
The Art Newspaper, 26(285)
Review of "On display: Henrietta Maria and the materials of magnificence at the Stuart Court" by Erin Griffey, and "Queenship and revolution in early modern Europe: Henrietta Maria and Marie Antoinette", by Carolyn Harris (2016)
Royal Stuart Journal, 7
Kevin Sharpe, Reading Authority and Representing Rule in Early Modern England (Bloomsbury: London, 2013) in Reviews in History (2014) (2014)
Reviews in History, Article 1643
'Practical proselytising: the impact of counter-Reformation Catholicism at the Caroline court, 1625-1626' (2020)
In: Caldari, Valentina and Wolfson, Sara eds. Stuart Marriage Diplomacy. Dynastic Politics in their European Context, 1604-1630. Studies in Early Modern Cultural, Political and Social History
Publisher : Boydell and Brewer
The Welcoming Journey of Queen Henrietta Maria and Stuart–Bourbon Relations, 1625–1626 (2020)
In: Conava-Green, Marie-Claude and Wolfson, Sara eds. The Wedding of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, 1625: Celebrations and Controversy. European Festival Series: 1450-1700 ((In Press))
ISBN : 978-2-503-58532-1 | Publisher : Brepols Publishers | Published : Turnhout, Belgium
Caldari, V.; Questier, M. and Wolfson, S.
In: Caldari, Valentina and Wolfson, Sara eds. Stuart Marriage Diplomacy. Dynastic Politics in their European Context, 1604-1630
ISBN : 978-1783271436 | Publisher : Boydell and Brewer
The female bedchamber of Queen Henrietta Maria; politics, familial networks and policy, 1626-1641 (2013-10-24)
In: Akkerman, Nadine and Houben, Birgit eds. The Politics of Female Households: Ladies-in-Waiting across Early Modern Europe. Rulers and Elites (pp. 311-341)
ISBN : 978-90-04-25839-6 | Publisher : Brill | Published : Leiden
The wedding of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, 1625: celebrations and controversy (2020-04)
Canova-Green, Marie-Claude and Wolfson, Sara eds.
European Festival Studies: 1450-1700 (EFS)
ISBN : 978-2-503-58532-1 | Publisher : Brepols Publishers (In Press)
Stuart Marriage Diplomacy. Dynastic Politics in their European Context, 1604-1630 (2018)
Caldari, Valentina and Wolfson, Sara J. eds.
Studies in Early Modern Cultural, Political and Social History
ISBN : 9781783271436 | Publisher : Boydell and Brewer | Published : Woodbridge