Melanie Bigold

Dr Melanie Bigold completed her doctoral studies at the University of Oxford in July 2007. During 2007–08, she was awarded a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellowship based at the University of Toronto, and was also a Plumer Visiting Fellow at St Anne’s College (Oxford). She joined Cardiff University in Autumn 2008.


Melanie is currently working on a joint biography of George Ballard and Elizabeth Elstob, as well as leading a project on marginalia and provenance in the Cardiff Rare Books collection. Updates on cataloguing as well as blog posts on projects related to the rare books can be found on the Cardiff Book History blog and on the Cardiff Special Collections and Archives blog. She also co-founded and co-convenes the interdisciplinary Families, Identities, and Gender Research Network (FIG). Information about the network and upcoming events can be found at

She would welcome enquiries from potential graduates who would like to pursue research in the areas of history of the book; manuscript culture; women’s writing and women’s literary history; philosophy, religion and literature in the long 18th century; and life writing.



  • Women of Letters, Manuscript Circulation and Print Afterlives in the Eighteenth Century: Elizabeth Rowe, Catharine Cockburn and Elizabeth Carter (Palgrave, 2012).

Articles and Essays

  • ‘Elizabeth Rowe’s Fictional and Familiar Letters: Exemplarity, Enthusiasm and the Production of Posthumous Meaning,’ British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 29.1 (2006), 1–14.
  • Editor and transcriber, ‘The Journals of John Ramsay,’ The Slave Trade Debate: Contemporary Writings for and against, introduced by John Pinfold (Bodleian Library Books, 2007).
  • ‘Letters and learning’ in Ros Ballaster (ed.), A History of British Women’s Writing: Volume 4, 1690-1750 (Palgrave, 2010)
  • Bigold, M. ‘“Theatre of the book”: Marginalia and Mise en Page in the Cardiff Rare Books Restoration Drama Collection’, Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research Occasional Publications, No.1 (2013),  available at:
  • ‘George Ballard’s Memoirs of Several Ladies and “bookmaking out of the remains of the dead”’, Eighteenth-Century Life, 38.2 (2014).