I was an undergraduate and graduate student at New College, Oxford, where I read for my BA and DPhil in the degree then known as Modern History. In 2006 I was elected to a Junior Research Fellowship at St Anne’s College, Oxford. In 2007 I was appointed Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Birmingham, before joining Jesus in 2011. I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
I teach British and European history between 1500 and 1700. Specialist papers include 'Literature and History in Early Modern England', 'Making England Protestant' and 'The Crisis of the Reformation: Political Thought and Religious Ideas in Britain, France and the Netherlands, 1560-1610'.
I supervise a wide range of research projects on the political, religious and intellectual history of the British Isles in the early modern period.
My work focuses on the political, religious and intellectual life of the sixteenth and early seventeenth century. My current research is centred on the relationship between the religious and constitutional history of the Reformation period: I am writing a history of Parliament and the Reformation in sixteenth century England and Wales, and various articles concerning church and state between the Reformation and the English Revolution. I am also interested in the development of political communication in manuscript and print and the emergent 'news culture' of the Elizabethan and early Stuart age.
A parallel strand of my research explores early modern historiography, antiquarianism and historical thought, which were often connected to political thinking and the contemporary practice of politics. In particular, I am engaged in a series of studies of William Camden's Annals of the Reign of Elizabeth I, the first history of Queen Elizabeth I, which continues to shape our narrative of the Queen's reign to this day. With Henry Woudhuysen, I am also editing the letters of the poet and statesman Fulke Greville for the forthcoming edition of Greville's Complete Works for OUP. I am a general editor of the MUP series Culture, Politics and Society in Early Modern Britain.
'Henry Savile and the Court', Erudition and the Republic of Letters (forthcoming, January 2021)
'Corpus, Catholics and the Elizabethan Reformation' in John Watts ed., Renaissance College: Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in Context, 1517-1600 (Oxford, 2019)
Ed. with Paul Cavill,Writing the History of Parliament in Tudor and Early Stuart England (Manchester University Press, 2018)
‘The Gordian Knot of Policy: Statecraft and the Prudent Prince’ in Malcolm Smuts ed., The Oxford Handbook to the Age of Shakespeare (Oxford, 2016)
‘The Earl of Essex and the "Popish Plot"’, in S. Doran, & P. Kewes (eds.), Doubtful and Dangerous: The Question of Succession in Late Elizabethan England (Manchester University Press, 2014)
‘The Earl of Essex and Politic History’, in A. Connolly, & L. Hopkins (eds.), Essex: the Life and Times of an Elizabethan Courtier (Manchester University Press, 2013)
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex and Late Elizabethan Political Culture (2012)
‘Debating War and Peace in Late Elizabethan England’, Historical Journal, 52/4 (2009)
‘The State of Christendom: History, Political Thought and the Essex circle’, Historical Research, 81/213 (2008), 423-446
‘Tacitus and Political Thought in Early Modern Europe, c.1530-c.1640’, in A. J. Woodman (ed.), The Cambridge companion to Tacitus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 253-268
‘Education as a Courtier’, in J. Shami, D. Flynn, & M. T. Hester (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of John Donne (Oxford, 2011), 395-407
Subject notes for courses taught at Jesus College:
See also Faculty of History website.