Ella Brook Muir

Ella Brook Muir


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Clothing in the early modern period was inherently bound up in ideas around status. Access to the most sumptuous of materials and the richest of hues was carefully controlled by strict legislation that limited what could and couldn’t be worn by the lower echelons of society. Amidst the vigorous, global economic expansion of the sixteenth century, ideas of foreignness were increasingly attributed to the production, selling and wearing of clothing. This was a world in which a person’s worth could ostensibly be gleaned from what they wore. 

My research considers the garments created for, worn by, and observed on the queens of England and France between 1515-1547, during the reigns of François Ier and Henry VIII. Many of these women came from foreign lands to be wed and with them they brought the customs, cultures and communities of their homelands, a duality made conspicuous by their attire. Notions of nationhood, inherently bound up in clothing, demonstrably differed for these women, who had close personal ties to their motherlands and allegiances to allies scattered across the continent. 

I am also interested in the varying ways in which royal clothing was observed and understood throughout society, and how dependent perceptions of sartorial symbolism were upon the lived experience of the beholder. Through this project, I seek to expand our understanding of queenly clothing beyond the constructions, creations and confines of the royal court and its discerning eye.

This research is funded in its entirety by the AHRC's Techne programme.

Education/Academic qualification

Medieval History, MA, Pass with Distinction, Institute for Medieval Studies - University of Leeds

1 Sept 20171 Sept 2018

Award Date: 3 Sept 2018

History, BA (Hons), First Class Honours, University of Leeds

1 Sept 20111 Sept 2014

Award Date: 1 Sept 2014

External positions

Chief Copyeditor, Royal Studies Journal (Open Access)

25 Dec 2021 → …

Editorial Assistant, History Today

1 Sept 2020 → …