Jessica Reid

Research title: Restoring the Restoration: Thomas Sydserf’s Life and Works (c.1624-89)

Research Summary

My research constitutes the first dedicated study of the life and works of Thomas Sydserf, or St. Serfe, (1624-70).

By focussing first on Sydserf’s newsbook, the Mercurius Caledonius, as well as pamphlets including ‘Bourlasque News from the Antipodes’, my research engages with theories of the public sphere, print culture and free speech in an early modern context.

My PhD is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities.


Forthcoming in 2020: ‘L’Écosse á l’envers: Scotland’s Restoration pamphleteer Thomas St Serfe’ in the Scottish Literary Review.


  • Principia Bursary for Postgraduate Study in Scottish Literature, 2015, £2500;
  • James Boswell Bursary for an outstanding student at Glasgow University undertaking PG study, 2014, £1000;
  • Andrew Tannahill Award for the Furtherance of Scottish Literature, used to fund PG study 2014, £750;
  • School of Critical Studies funding for Postgraduate Research Activities, used for conference attendance, 2014, £150;
  • The Cross Trust Award for Vacation Studies in the Arts, put towards attendance at the University of Cambridge’s Medieval Studies Summer School, 2014, £800.


‘Affective literacies and edification in the Scottish Legendary’ at the 16th International Conference of Medieval and Renaissance Scottish Language and Literature, Alabama, 27-31 July 2020.

‘Legends of the Saints’, St Mungo Festival, Glasgow, 16 January 2019.

‘“Folk" celebration? Thomas St Serfe’s “The Prince of Tartaria, his Voyage to Cowper in Fife"’ at ‘Minority’ Cultures and Travel, Aberystwyth, 14-16 September 2015. 

‘Thomas St Serfe and the Festive Regeneration of Seventeenth-Century Scotland in “The Prince of Tartaria his Voyage to Cowper in Fife”’ at the 14th International Conference of Medieval and Renaissance Scottish Language and Literature, Bochum, 28-31 July 2014.

Additional Information


Neil Munro Medal for Excellence in Scottish Literature, 2014.


Editorial board at eSharp, 2019-20.