Claire Turner


I graduated from the University of Leeds in 2018 with a First Class BA Honours in History and recently completed my MA in the History of Health, Medicine and Society at the same institution. During my time at Leeds, I developed an interest in epidemiological history and the social history of early modern London. My BA dissertation focused on the relationships between physical and metaphorical space and vulnerability in London’s 1603 and 1625 plague epidemics. In my MA dissertation, I turned my focus to sensory experiences of the plague in London’s seventeenth-century epidemics. My PhD, which I started in 2019, will follow on from my MA by exploring multisensory experiences and perceptions of the plague in seventeenth-century England. Both my MA and PhD were made possible by funding from the School of History and IMS.

Research interests

My research investigates how people experienced and perceived epidemic disease through their senses in seventeenth-century England. It will explore interactions between the traditional five senses (sight, smell, sound, taste and touch) and assess how sensory interplay affected the way that people experienced, perceived, and remembered the plague. 

Research Activities


  • Highest Overall Achievement in the School of History (MA)
  • Marion Sharples Prize (for the highest graded MA dissertation in the School of History)


  • BA History
  • MA History of Health, Medicine and Society