Scholar Introduction: Johanna Strong

Johanna is a second-year PhD student at the University of Winchester under the supervision of Dr Ellie Woodacre and Dr Simon Sandall. She completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at Queen’s University, Canada, and went on to complete her Master of Arts at the same university. Her Master’s thesis analysed early modern interpretations of queenship, especially through the works of John Knox (The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women) and Henry Howard (‘A Dutiful Defence of the Lawful Regiment of Women’). She spent the first year of her Bachelor’s at the Bader International Study Centre at Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex and is thrilled to be back in England for her PhD.

Currently studying how the English and British historical narrative has been created, she has a particular interest in how Mary I is portrayed from the Elizabethan period to the rise of the Hanoverian dynasty and the reasons for these portrayals. Though Mary is often seen as a villain of English and British history, Johanna’s research argues that this interpretation is a result of political, religious, and gendered influences and does not reflect the truth behind Mary and her reign.

You can hear parts of her research on the Hampshire HistBites podcast, part of the Winchester Heritage Open Days 2020, in the episodes titled “Coronation, Marriage, Burial: Mary I in Westminster Abbey and Winchester Cathedral” and “Marriage and Childbirth: Mary I at Wolvesey Castle and Hampton Court Palace”. She also has a chapter entitled “Happily Ever After?: Posthumous Representations of Mary I and Philip II’s Marriage” in Valerie Schutte and Jessica Hower’s Writing Mary I: History, Historiography, and Fiction, due for publication in late 2021.

When she’s not working on her PhD thesis, Johanna enjoys exploring all the heritage Winchester has to offer, reading, watching guilty-pleasure reality TV, and working on one of her many cross-stitch projects.

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