Department of English and Creative Writing

Postal address
Department of English and Creative Writing
Fincham 204B

Phone: +44 (0)20 8392 3014


My research focuses on medievalism and antiquarianism in the literature and culture of the long eighteenth century, with a particular focus on Enlightenment library, archive and museum collections. My first book, Anglo-Saxonism and the Idea of Englishness, 1703-1805, examines the range of ways that early medieval English literature and history influenced scholarly and popular ideas about the relationship between England's early medieval history and its identity as a modern nation. My recent articles consider the interface between medievalist scholarship and popular culture, on subjects ranging from dramas about Alfred the Great, early Anglo-Saxon material culture, Romantic-era engravings of Anglo-Saxon literary and historical episodes, and the place of linguistics in legal education.

I am also the Librarian and Archivist of the Spalding Gentlemen's Society, Britain's oldest provincial intellectual society, founded in 1710. I am currently editing the first of six volumes of the SGS' illustrated minute books, which detail the Society's activities from 1710-29, and preparing catalogues of its early modern and eighteenth-century libraries. In addition to leading the Society's research programme and academic collaborations I provide consultancy for Midlands heritage collections on the conservation, cataloguing and display of rare books, manuscripts and related specimens.

I am currently supervising a collaborative doctoral award with the University of Leicester and the Spalding Gentlemen's Society. I am always interested in hearing from prospective PhD students with interests in medievalism from the early modern period to the present, antiquarianism, the history of libraries and collecting, and the literature and culture of the long 18th century.

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