I came to Birmingham in 2005 from the universities of Cambridge and Leeds; I studied as an undergraduate and postgraduate at Girton College, Cambridge, and held a three-year British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at Leeds.
My research explores the relationships between Renaissance writers and their later readers, and the material forms in which these and other textual exchanges take place. My first book, Ben Jonson in the Romantic Age (Oxford University Press, 2005), explores the many forms in which Jonson was mobile within the Romantic period. The book is part of my ongoing interest in the ways in which understandings of Renaissance writers and their texts have transformed by the history of their productions, publication and readership.
I delivered the Chatterton Lecture on English Poetry at the British Academy in October 2009, speaking on the title ‘Donne, By Hand’ (a podcast of the lecture can be downloaded here). I earlier spoke at the British Academy on ‘Milton in the Twentieth Century’ as part of a colloquium to celebrate the quatercentenary of Milton’s birth in December 2008, later published in John Milton: Life, Writing, Reputation. I have published widely on poetic and dramatic manuscripts from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries: I was awarded The Review of English Studies Essay Prize (2003) for my article, 'The Sheridans at Work', and my article reporting the text of a new country house poem, 'All Hayle to Hatfeild', was chosen for republication in the 40th Anniversary Virtual Issue of English Literary Renaissance. A new piece in The Review of English Studies announces ‘Another New Manuscript of Sir John Davies’s Epigrams’, and begins a conversation about the reasons why we might now need of a new edition of Davies’s Works.
My chapter on the poetry and career of one of Francis Bacon’s chaplains, William Lewis, formed part of a collection of essays published by Manchester University Press, Chaplains in Early Modern England, which I co-edited with Hugh Adlington and Gillian Wright; and am exploring new research into Charles Lamb, and in particular his Specimens of English Dramatic Poets (1808) and Extracts from the Garrick Plays (1827), for a new complete edition of The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, to be published by Oxford University Press. My article on William Hazlitt's reading and use of Lamb's Specimens was published in The Hazlitt Review (2014).
Willingness to take PhD students
I welcome enquiries from prospective graduate students across the range of my teaching and research interests.
I have been the lead or co-supervisor for a number of students who have completed their doctorates:
Wendy Trevor, whose thesis explored the varieties of dramatised male friendship in the early modern period;
Natalie Aldred, who edited William Haughton's play, Englishmen for My Money;
Harry Newman, whose thesis explored questions of impression and identity in Shakespeare, and who is now a Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London;
Kerry Gilbert, who wrote on professionalism in Angel Day's manual, The English Secretary;
Jennie Challinor, whose AHRC-funded research explored the drama of the 1670-71 theatre season;
Georgina Hildick-Smith, who wrote on education and value in early modern drama; and
Phil Jones, who wrote on the reception of Samuel Johnson.
I am currently lead or co-supervisor for the following students:
Debra Weston, who is working on Gothic drama on the Romantic stage;
Neil Halliday, who is writing on De Quincey and Romantic autobiography;
Aurora Martinez, who is writing on pastoral from Marvell to Wordsworth;
Charlotte Evans, who is writing on Keats and early modern writers;
Nicola Westwood, who is writing on Romantic-period abolitionist literature; and
Eleanor Kennett, who is writing on the letters, papers and journals of William Pearson.
I am interested in supervising MA, MPhil and PhD candidates in the following areas and will be pleased to respond to enquiries:
Early modern poetry and drama, including Shakespeare
The relationships of Renaissance and Romantic writers
Ben Jonson and his contemporaries
Charles Lamb and his collaborators
The relationships of manuscript and print