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Durham University

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Dr Toby Osborne

Associate Professor (Early Modern European History) in the Department of History
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41062

(email at

Toby Osborne is interested in early-modern court history and diplomatic culture. He has worked on the Piedmontese diplomat, abbé and art patron, Alessandro Scaglia (1592-1641), known throughout the courts of Europe, from London to Rome, during the period of the Thirty Years’ War. His work has a strong international character, with a focus on Catholic Europe and the Italian peninsula. He is currently working on several strands of research, including the papal court, the competition for status and prestige amongst the dynastic powers of Italy, the subject of exile in the seventeenth century, and international diplomatic culture. He would welcome interest in early-modern court and elite history, covering Britain and Europe.

Research Groups

Department of History

Research Projects

Department of History

Research Interests

  • Dynastic politics in early modern Europe
  • The courts of Catholic Europe, particularly in the Mediterranean region


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited Journal

Journal Article

Working Paper


Selected Grants

  • 2013: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Standard Grant, Translating Cultures: The Languages of Diplomacy between the Early-Modern and the Modern Worlds.
  • 2013: The Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles), Getty Scholar in Residence, Medusean Colours.