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Miss Bethany H Pleydell

Doctor of Philosophy Student, Member Student

Bethany Pleydell

Miss Bethany H Pleydell

Doctor of Philosophy Student, Member Student

Member of

Postgraduate research supervised by

Research interests

I am a PhD student and an AHRC scholar co-supervised by Dr Alexandra Hoare and Professor Maria Hayward at the Universities of Bristol and Southampton. My thesis, entitled ‘The Spanish Tudors: Self-Fashioning the Anglo-Spanish Elite through Dress, c.1554-1603’, examines the luxury costume worn within Philip II of Spain’s court, its dissemination to the English courts of Mary I and Elizabeth I and the act - or ‘performance’ - of dressing amongst their elite members. My research interests broadly include: costume and textiles history, experimental archaeology (historic costume reproduction), Anglo-Spanish material exchanges, the Spanish leather trade, Spanish and Spanish American visual and material culture, and performance and gender studies. I hold an MA in History of Art and Spanish from the University of St Andrews (First Class, 2013) and an MSt in History of Art and Visual Culture from Trinity College, Oxford (2014).

I also have experience working in the Museums and Heritage Sector for the Ashmolean Museum, the Pitt Rivers Museum, the Museum of the University of St Andrews, National Museums Wales and the National Trust. In 2013-14, I held the position of Ashmolean Associate for which I curated a temporary display on Grinling Gibbons, entitled 'Ex Uno Omnia: Everything Out of One'. Previous to this, I worked as a research assistant and technician on the summer exhibitions, 'A World of Welsh Copper' and 'Golden Venture', at National Museums Wales. I currently work as a Library volunteer at the Brunel Institute of the ss Great Britain Trust.


Research interests


‘Introduction to Early Modern Art’ (Teaching Assistant, TB1/2)

Awards and Grants:

  • Textile Society Critical Writing Award, 2016
  • Association of Art Historians Initiatives Fund, 2015
  • ARTES Coll & Cortes Travel Scholarship, 2015
  • SWW DTP (AHRC) Scholarship, 2014-2018
  • Windle Charitable Trust Grant for Art History, 2013-2014


Pleydell, Bethany. ‘Mapping the Renaissance Body: English Attitudes to Spanish National Dress in the Sixteenth Century’, TEXT (forthcoming)

Pleydell, Bethany. ‘Cloak and Swagger: The Violent History of the Renaissance Cloak’, BIAS: Journal of Dress Practice, Issue 4: Fashion and Violence (2016), pp.58-67; 107.

Pleydell, Bethany. ‘Ex Uno Omnia: Everything Out of One, A Student Engagement Project at the Ashmolean Museum, 2014’,, May 2014, web.  

Conferences/ Seminar Series (co-convened):

‘Literary and Visual Landscapes Seminar Series', University of Bristol, 2016-2017

'All the World’s A Stage: Performing Identity in Everyday Life’, one-day interdisciplinary conference, University of Bristol, 1st July 2016 

Conference Papers and Poster Displays:

  • '"A most necessary forreyne commodytie for the lande": Spanish Leather Exports for an English Market, c.1554-1600', for 'Retailing and Distribution before 1600', CHORD conference, University of Wolverhampton, 15th September 2016 (conference paper)
  • 'Hispanicising the English Wardrobe: Spanish Fashions in Tudor England', for 'Transmission and Conception of Ideas in the Hispanic World', HiPLA Colloquium, University of Bristol, 2nd June 2016 (conference paper)
  • ‘England's Second Skins: The Manufacture, Trade and Consumption of Spanish Leather in Sixteenth-Century London and Bristol, c.1554-1603’, Research without Borders Festival, University of Bristol, 9th May 2016 (poster and display)
  • ‘Mapping the Renaissance Body: Clothing as a Communicator of Cultural Difference and Desire in the Sixteenth Century’, Bristol Centre for Medieval Studies, 22nd Annual Postgraduate Conference, University of Bristol, 25th-26th February 2016 (conference paper)                          
  • ‘The Spanish Tudors: Self-Fashioning the Anglo-Spanish Elite through Dress, c.1554-1603: Research in Progress’, History of Art Postgraduate Research in Progress Symposium, University of Bristol, 17th February 2016 (conference paper)
  • ‘Fanciful Frills and Floating Heads: The Renaissance Ruff, c.1550-1600’, Festival of Research, University of Bristol, 20th January 2016 (poster and display, winner: 3rd prize)
  • ‘Cloak and Swagger: Juan de Alcega, Pattern-Maker and Trend-Setter for the Fashionable Renaissance Male’, for ‘Fashion’ 84th Annual Anglo-American Conference, Institute of Historical Research and Victoria and Albert Museum, Senate House, University of London, July 2015 (conference paper)
  • ‘Dressing the ‘Asian’ Way: Cross-Cultural Dressing and the Mantón de Manila in the Spanish-Speaking World’, Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, April 2015 (conference paper) 
  • ‘A Study of the St Andrews Maces’, Undergraduate Research Internship Programme Poster Competition, University of St Andrews, July 2012 (poster)

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Postal address:
United Kingdom