My first area of research was the work of Edmund Spenser, especially in relation to the historical writing of his age. I continue to work on ideas of history in the Renaissance: vernacular history writing, verse history, and the reception of classical historiography in the Early Modern age. At the same time I am doing work on Renaissance drama by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, thinking above all about the material context of the theatre, notably the effect of acting companies on the way drama was written. My current work is concerned with the place of children in Renaissance literary culture, both in drama and in non-dramatic verse. I supervise doctoral work on reception history and the early modern theatre. In addition to research on children, publications in progress include 6 Ways of Thinking in Renaissance Literature and a book of creative non-fiction on the Netherlands during occupation in World War II.
Literature 1500-1800, with special interest in Shakespeare and Spenser. My lecture series titles for the Faculty include ‘The Materiality of Texts: Manuscript, Print, and Edition’, ‘Renaissance Literature and Culture: More to Milton’, ‘Shakespeare in Company’, and ‘Historians in Verse’.
Reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement and member of the International Spenser Society executive.