Department of English and Creative Writing

Visiting address
205 Fincham, Digby Stuart

Phone: +44 (0)20 8392 3347


My main research interest is Shakespeare, both in relation to other contemporary dramatists and lyric poets, and in terms of his adaptation and appropriation in literature and cinema. I am currently writing my third book, which is the first major consideration of the Sonnets' reception, covering a period of 400 years. This will be entitled The Afterlife of Shakespeare's Sonnets, to be published by Cambridge UP in 2018.

So far, I have uncovered some previously undiscussed parallels between the Sonnets of Shakespeare and Lady Mary Wroth, suggesting that she may have been one of his early readers. I have also discovered that many of the Sonnets we remember today were not those which were admired in earlier centuries (some were not even in print), and that the publication of the 1609 Quarto may actually have damaged their reputation and their afterlife.


BA (Hons) Oriel College, Oxford: PhD, Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon

Research interests

My main research interest is Shakespeare in his historical and cultural context, with a focus on modern adaptation and appropriation.

My first monograph, Shakespeare's Drama of Exile, was published by Palgrave in 2003. It considered banishment in early modern England, and its function as a catalyst for personal, linguistic, romantic and political crisis in Shakespeare's plays.

For my second book, I broadened out into the field of early modern desire: the Erotic and the erotic. Cupid in Early Modern Literature and Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2010) explores not only the range of desires Cupid might represent, but also the acts of transgression performed in his name, disrupting categories of gender, class, hierarchy and religious difference. Although the focus of the book is literature, it also considers Cupid's representation in contemporary paintings, emblems, tapestry, embroidery and book illustrations.

After editing Love's Labor's Lost for the new Norton Shakespeare in 2015, I found myself drawn back to Shakespeare's Sonnets. I have written on the ways in which these contribute to fictional biographies of Shakespeare in the novel, film and television, particularly William Boyd's TV drama, A Waste of Shame. In October 2012, I organised a conference on 'Shakespeare and the Contemporary Sonnet' which brought together scholars and poets including Don Paterson, Heather Dubrow, Harryette Mullen, Philip Terry and Tim Atkins.

I am currently besotted with the reception of the Sonnets, and am writing my third monograph, The Afterlife of Shakespeare's Sonnets for Cambridge UP, to be published in 2018. To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, in Summer 2016 I will be chairing a seminar on the Sonnets at the Shakespeare World Congress in Stratford and London.

Research projects

I am currently writing a book entitled The Afterlife of Shakespeare's Sonnets for Cambridge University Press.

Professional affiliations

Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

Consultancy work

I have been an external examiner for the postgraduate taught MAs at the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, and for the undergraduate English programme at the University of Westminster, London.


My specialist modules at Roehampton are Shakespeare as a Literary Dramatist, and Shakespeare on Screen.

I also teach widely across the programme including modules, Introduction to Literary Studies, Early Modern Literature, and the Dissertation.

I am also available for PHD supervision on a range of early modern topics, including Shakespeare, revenge tragedy, and Early Modern lyric poetry.

Research outputs

  1. The Failure of Shame in Shakespeare's Sonnets

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. ‘”Let me not to the marriage of true minds”: Shakespeare’s Sonnet for Lady Mary Wroth’

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  3. ‘Shakespeare and the Novel: “For that which had been lost was found, and so on”’

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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