I studied English as an undergraduate at Keble College, Oxford, and was awarded my PhD from the University of Leicester.
I teach early modern English literature across a range of periods, from the poetry, prose, and drama of the Renaissance to the works of Restoration and eighteenth-century authors as varied as John Bunyan and the Earl of Rochester, Jonathan Swift and William Cowper. I have also taught specialist courses in writing of the English Revolution (1630-60) and literature and the North of England (1840-the present).
Like my teaching, my research lies in the Renaissance and Restoration periods. Having worked extensively on theology and narrative in the writings of John Bunyan, I am now exploring literature and religion in the seventeenth century more broadly, with an emphasis on early modern Protestant poetics and polemics.
My current research projects concern Calvinism in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, particularly Shakespeare, as well as the relationship between literature and religion, and politics in the Restoration, centring on the issue of 'liberty of conscience'. I am also interested in literature of the English Revolution, and of eighteenth-century authors of the Dissenting or Calvinist traditions - such as Daniel Defoe and William Cowper - as well as in John Bunyan's 'afterlife' in the twentieth century.
I would welcome postgraduate students (MA or PhD) with interests in any of the following areas of research:
John Bunyan and writers of the 'Puritan'/Nonconformist tradition
Early Modern literature, religion, and politics (1550-1750)
Renaissance poetry and drama
Literature and the English Revolution
Literature and theology
Prizes or Honours
- Learning & Teaching Prize (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Liverpool, 2013)
Other Personal Distinctions
- 'Guest Editor' of Special Issue of the journal 'Shakespeare' 5.1 (2009) (Editorial Board of the journal Shakespeare, 2009)