BA (Oxon), PhD (London)
Professor of Early Modern British History

Academic Background

After reading History at St Anne’s College, Oxford, I obtained a PGCE, and afterwards taught at St Paul’s Girls’ School, London.  My doctorate at UCL was in early modern history, my thesis a political biography of an Elizabethan nobleman (Thomas Radcliffe 3rd earl of Sussex). Moving to St Mary’s University College (London), I taught a wide range of early-modern British and European History courses, and ran the history programme for a number of years. When I left in 2001, I was Reader in History.  I returned to Oxford in 2002 as a lecturer in Christ Church, and have been a Fellow at St Benet’s Hall since 2004.  In 2009 I took up a position as Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, while still teaching early-modern history at St Benet’s.

Undergraduate Teaching

Sixteenth and seventeenth century British and European history.

Postgraduate Teaching

Sixteenth and seventeenth century political, religious, and intellectual history.

Research Interests

My research interests have focused on the political, religious and cultural history of the sixteenth century, especially the reign of Elizabeth I. While continuing my work on Elizabethan England, I now intend to embark on a new area of research: namely the polity and politics of early Jacobean England. I am interested in investigating areas of continuity and change following the accession of the Scottish king. As with my previous research, I shall be examining a wide range of political, literary and visual sources and my approach will be interdisciplinary.

Selected Publications


  • Elizabeth I and her Circle  (OUP, 2015).
  • Ed. with Paulina Kewes, Doubtful and Dangerous: The Question of Succession in Late Elizabethan England (Manchester University Press, 2014).
  • Ed. The Royal River: Power Pageantry and the Thames (Scala, 2012).
  • Ed. with Thomas S. Freeman, Mary Tudor: Old and New Perspectives (Palgrave, 2011).
  • Ed. with Norman Jones, The Elizabethan World (Routledge, 2010).
  • Ed. Henry VIII: Man and Monarch (British Library, 2009).
  • Ed. with Thomas S. Freeman, The Tudors and Stuarts on Film (Palgrave, 2009).
  • The Tudor Chronicles (Quercus, 2008).
  • Mary Queen of Scots: An Illustrated Life (British Library, 2007).
  • Ed. with Glenn Richardson, Tudor England and Its Neighbours (Palgrave, 2005).
  • Ed. Elizabeth: The Exhibition at the National Maritime Museum (Random House/Chatto and Windus, 2003).
  • Ed. with Thomas S. Freeman, The Myth of Elizabeth I (Palgrave, 2003).
  • Elizabeth I. British Library Historic Lives Series (St Martin’s Press, 2003).
  • Elizabeth I and Foreign Policy (Routledge, 2000).
  • England and Europe in the Sixteenth Century (Palgrave, 1999).
  • Monarchy and Matrimony: The Courtships of Elizabeth I (Routledge, 1996).
  • England and Europe 1485-1603 (Longman, 1986, 2nd revised edition 1996).
  • Elizabeth I and Religion (Routledge, 1994).
  • With Christopher Durston, Princes Pastors and People: The Church and Religion in England 1529-1689 (Routledge, 1991, 2nd revised edition 2003).

Journal Articles and Chapters in Books

  • ‘Queen Elizabeth I of England: Monarchical Leadership in Action’, in Peter Kaufman (ed.), Leadership and Elizabethan Culture (Palgrave, 2013).
  • 'The Tudors', in The Oxford Handbook to Holinshed’s Chronicles, ed. Ian Archer, Felicity Heal and Paulina Kewes (OUP, 2012).
  • 'Elizabeth I and her Favourites: The Case of Sir Walter Ralegh', in Elizabeth I and the Sovereign Arts, ed. Donald Stump, Linda Shenk and Carole Levin (University of Arizona, 2011).
  • 'Elizabeth I: An Old Testament King', in Rethinking Tudor Queenship: Mary and Elizabeth, ed. Anna Whitelock and Alice Hunt (Palgrave, 2010).
  • 'Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici', in Contending Kingdoms: England and France, 1430-1700, ed. Glenn Richardson (Ashgate, 2007).
  • 'James VI and the Succession', in James VI and I: Ideas, Authority and Government, ed. Ralph Houlbrooke (Ashgate, 2006).
  • 'Three late-Elizabethan Succession Tracts', in The Struggle for the Succession in Late Elizabethan England: Politics, Polemics and Cultural Representations, ed. Jean-Christophe Mayer (University Paul-Valery, Montpellier, 2004).
  • 'The Politics of Renaissance Europe', in Shakespeare and Renaissance Europe, ed. Paul Hammond and Andrew Hadfield (Arden Press, 2004).
  • 'Elizabeth I’s Religion: the Evidence of her Letters', Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 51 (2000).
  • 'Revenge her Foul and Most Unnatural Murder? The impact of Mary Stewart’s execution on Anglo-Scottish relations', History, 85 (2000).
  • 'Why Did Elizabeth Not Marry?' in Dissing Elizabeth: Negative Representations of Gloriana, ed. Julia M.Walker (Duke University Press, 1998).
  • 'Juno Versus Diana: Elizabeth I's Marriage in Plays and Entertainments 1561-81', The Historical Journal, 38 (1995).
  • 'Politics and Religion at Elizabeth I's Court: The Habsburg Marriage Negotiations 1559-1567', English Historical Review 104 (1989).
  • 'The Finances of an Elizabethan Nobleman: Thomas Radcliffe, Third Earl of Sussex', Historical Research, 61 (1988).


Subject notes for courses taught at Jesus College:
History and Economics
History and English
History and Modern Languages
History and Politics

See also Faculty of History website.