I studied at Magdalen College Oxford for both my BA and my DPhil. My first academic post was as lecturer in the history department at Queen’s University Belfast for two years. I moved to King’s College London in 1995 and taught there until I moved to Lincoln in October 2016.
At undergraduate level I teach a range of courses on early modern Britain and Europe, including the further subject ‘Literature and Politics in Early Modern England’ and a special subject on Tudor politics, religion and culture between 1540 and 1560. At postgraduate level I am currently supervising a range of projects connected with Tudor political, religious and social history, from perceptions and depictions of the Devil in early modern society to the material culture of post-Reformation Catholic dissent.
My research centres on the English Reformation, and the political, religious and cultural transformations which English society experienced between the fifteenth and the seventeenth centuries. My doctoral research was on Catholic thought and belief in early modern England, from which stemmed a fascination with those aspects of lived religion which confounded many of the usual theological or political categories. The challenges posed by the history of religious identity led me to research the historical problem that is Henry VIII, and I published a biography of him in 2008. More recently I have been working on the cultural history of late medieval and early modern religion, exploring the interlinking of image, text and memory and charting its reconfiguration in post-Reformation religious culture. I am currently writing a book for Yale University Press, entitled Tudor England, which aims to integrate the political and religious history of the period with the insights derived from social and cultural history, and combines chapters which give an overview of current scholarship with more provocative essays on themes such as material culture, landscape and performance.
Rethinking Catholicism in Reformation England (Oxford Historical Monographs, 2000)
Henry VIII (Routledge Historical Biographies, 2008; second edition, 2015)
‘From Tudor Humanism to Reformation Preaching’, in H. Adlington, P. McCullough and E. Rhatigan (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Early Modern Sermon (Oxford University Press, 2011)
‘Remembrance in the Eucharist’, in A. Gordon and T. Rist (eds.), The Arts of Remembrance in Early Modern England (Ashgate, 2013)
‘Reading the Crucifixion in Tudor England’, in Discovering the Riches of the Word: Religious Reading in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. S. Corbellini, M. Hoogvliet, and B. Ramakers (Brill, 2014)