Ros Barber has a PhD in English Literature from Sussex University, funded by the UK’s AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) and granted in May 2011. Her thesis, entitled ‘Writing Marlowe As Writing Shakespeare: Exploring Biographical Fictions” was part creative and part critical, consisting of the 70,000 word verse novel The Marlowe Papers and 50,000 words exploring the Shakespeare authorship question; the first phD on this subject in the UK.  Dr Barber came originally from a science background, with a first degree in Biological Sciences.  Her interest is in evidence and its interpretation, the influence of belief upon perception, the relationship between history and fiction,  and literary biography.

Open access policies mean that all of these articles should now be freely available 2 years after publication date. For open access copies, see Dr Barber’s Goldsmiths research page.

Academic Articles relevant to the Shakespeare Authorship Question

‘Shakespeare and Warwickshire Dialect’
Journal of Early Modern Studies 5, Spring 2016.

‘Shakespeare’s Honey-stalks’
Notes and Queries (2015) 62 (1): 92-93.

‘Bardolph and Poins’
Notes and Queries (2015) 62 (1): 104-7.

‘Exploring Biographical Fictions: The Role of Imagination in Writing and Reading Narrative’
Rethinking History 14:2, Spring 2010.
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‘Shakespeare Authorship Doubt in 1593’
Critical Survey 21:2 Summer 2009

Academic Articles on Christopher Marlowe and his Social Circle

‘Was Marlowe A Violent Man?’
Christopher Marlowe the Craftsman, Ashgate, 2010

‘Sir John Davies as Guilpin’s Fuscus’
Notes and Queries (2015) 62 (4): 553-554.

Conference Papers

“Exploring Biographical Fictions: The Role of Imagination in Writing and Reading Narrative”

  • Cross-Currents PG conference, University of Sussex, 5th July 2007
  • Goldsmiths Literature Seminars 1st November 2007

“Interpretation and Belief: Constructing the Renaissance”
Queen’s University Belfast symposium, Filming & Performing Renaissance History, 26-27th April 2008.

“Marlowe and Violence: Exploring Biographical Fictions”
Marlowe Society of America 6th International Conference in Canterbury, 1st – 3rd July 2008

“Be He Alive or Be He Dead: Harvey, Nashe, & Chrisopher Marlowe”

  • Text And Image conference, Centre for Early Modern Studies, Univ of Sussex, 9-11th Sept 2008.
  • Institute of Ideas Postgraduate Forum, London School of Economics, 17th Dec 2008
  • Goldsmiths Literature Seminars 29th Jan 2009

“Writing Marlowe as Writing Shakespeare: The Marlowe Papers”

  • The Playful Paradox Creative Writing Conference, Luton, 23rd May 2009
  • Memories, Narratives & Histories PG Research Conference, Sussex, 3rd Jun 2009
  • Great Writing: The International Creative Writing Conference, 20th-21st June 2009

“Evidence and Interpretation: Shakespeare and Marlowe”

Posts on The Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection

Intended for a more general readership.

Allusion or Illusion? William Covell’s Gaveston

Marlowe and Comedy

Stanley Wells and the Cobbe Portrait


Rethinking Shakespeare

shakespeare authorship questionTo get a fuller overview of Dr Barber’s research, including the reasons why Shakespeare biography needs to be critically examined, watch Rethinking Shakespeare, a 45-minute presentation filmed by the University of Sussex. This presentation argues for a return to the first principles of historical research, a critical re-examination of evidence, and an appreciation of the extent to which our existing beliefs filter our perceptions of what is ‘true’.   Beyond the ostensible subject,  it emphasises the necessity of encouraging students to ask questions, rather than supplying them with answers.