Jacob Baxter

Dr, Mr, Mr

  • KY16 9AR

    United Kingdom

Personal profile

Research overview

I am a historian of early modern culture and politics, with a particular interest in statesmen, readers and copyright. I currently work as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant for the Universal Short Title Catalogue.

My doctoral thesis, which I completed in 2024 under the supervision of Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen, examined the literary life and afterlife of the English statesman Sir William Temple (1628-1699), who may just be the most famous seventeenth-century author you have never heard of. Temple engaged with all sorts of genre in his literary career, including politics, poetry, medicine, economics, history and horticulture. He was also the first English politician to publish an autobiography. Temple’s books were printed across Europe in the early modern period and they attracted the admiration of some of the leading political, intellectual and cultural actors of the age. The lexicographer Samuel Johnson even called him ‘the first writer who gave cadence to English prose.’ My research was supported by a University of St Andrews Doctoral Tuition Fee Scholarship.

I arrived at St Andrews in 2015, when I began my undergraduate degree in History. I graduated in June 2019 with first class honours. I continued my studies at St Andrews with an MLitt in Book History, which I completed in August 2020, achieving a distinction. I was also awarded the Postgraduate Gray Prize for the best overall performance at a Master’s level in Arts and Divinity at St Andrews. Within Book History my interests include authorship, bookselling, and book ownership.

I am a tutor on the undergraduate course MO1007 and the co-coordinator of the School of History’s Academic Skills Programme. In May 2022, I was shortlisted for the St Andrews Students’ Association Teaching Awards, out of a pool of over 300 nominations.

Teaching activity

  • Tutor - MO1007
  • Cordinator - Academic Skills Programme for History

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Letters, The Book: History and Techniques of Analysis, University of St Andrews

Sept 2019Aug 2020

Award Date: 1 Dec 2020

Master of Arts, History, University of St Andrews

Sept 2015Jun 2019

Award Date: 27 Jun 2019

Doctor of Philosophy, A Diplomat in the Book World: Sir William Temple and the Print Trade, University of St Andrews

Oct 2020May 2024

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