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Diane Purkiss

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Diane Purkiss
Born (1961-06-30) 30 June 1961 (age 62)
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Queensland
Merton College, Oxford
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of East Anglia
University of Exeter
University of Reading

Diane Purkiss (born 30 June 1961) is an Australian historian, and Fellow and Tutor of English at Keble College, Oxford. She specialises in Renaissance and women's literature, witchcraft and the English Civil War.

Purkiss was born in Sydney, New South Wales, and was educated at Roseville College, Our Lady of the Rosary Convent, and Stuartholme School. She received a BA with first class Honours from the University of Queensland and D.Phil. from Merton College, Oxford. She became a lecturer in English at the University of East Anglia in 1991, and lecturer in English at the University of Reading in 1993. In 1998 she became a Professor of English at Exeter University, before taking up her current post at Keble College in 2000.


As author:

  • The Witch in History: Early Modern and Late Twentieth Century Representations (Routledge, 1996)
  • Troublesome Things: a history of fairies and fairy stories (Allen Lane, 2000)
  • Literature, Gender, and Politics during the English Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2005)
  • The English Civil War: A People's History (HarperCollins, 2006).
  • English Food: A People's History[1] (HarperCollins, 2022).

As editor:

Purkiss also wrote children's books with her daughter, Alice Druitt, under the pseudonym Tobias Druitt.


  1. ^ Cloake, Felicity (28 December 2022). "English Food by Diane Purkiss review – a mouthwatering history". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 24 January 2024.

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