Personal Biography

Arriving at Corpus as Fellow in English in 1996, I was delighted to find myself able to enjoy the renowned library holdings I had long admired from elsewhere in Oxford as an undergraduate and graduate student.  Since 2018 I have been honoured to serve as the College’s President – and I am still enjoying the library.  In 2021 I was elected to membership of the Academia Europaea.

Research and Teaching

My research and teaching interests interrogate the boundaries of cultures, periods and disciplines. I supervise graduates in both the medieval and early modern periods, and much of my research has been concerned with the reception in English of continental and classical literature. The groundwork for my interdisciplinary research has been laid by bringing neglected texts back to academic attention, and to that end I have published two scholarly editions: the sixteenth-century prose romance Amadis de Gaule (2004) and the seventeenth-century play Guy of Warwick (2007). My book Amadis in English: A Study in the Reading of Romance (2020) explored the long popularity amongst British readers of the Spanish romance Amadís de Gaula, the favourite book of Cervantes’s Don Quixote.  It was the joint winner of the British Academy’s 2021 Rose Mary Crawshay Prize, and was awarded the 2021 Roland H. Bainton Prize for Literature by the Sixteenth Century Society.

I have also contributed to OUP multi-volume histories of translation, reception and the novel. Other research includes the interlocking literary cultures of early modern England and France, Tudor and Jacobean drama, Elizabethan prose fiction and medieval romance. With Philip Hardie of the Classics Faculty in Cambridge (a former Corpus colleague), I edited Classical Literary Careers and their Reception (Cambridge University Press, 2010). I have co-organised with Corpus classical colleagues two interdisciplinary conferences (the Passmore Edwards symposia) on the topics of ekphrasis and literary careers. I chaired the curatorial committee of the 2011 Bodleian Libraries exhibition, Manifold Greatness: Oxford and the Making of the King James Bible, marking the 400th anniversary of the translation of the King James Bible and with Corpus archivist Julian Reid I edited the accompanying book, Manifold Greatness: The Making of the King James Bible (Bodleian Library Publications, 2011).

My current book project is a critical and cultural biography of the Jacobean playwright John Webster (called The Sense of Sorrow: A Life of John Webster), for which I was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship in 2016-17.

My teaching for Corpus as Fellow in English included Middle English, the early modern period, the English language, and much of the Classics and English syllabus. For the Faculty of English I have lectured in medieval and early modern subjects at undergraduate and graduate level, and have supervised M.St. and D.Phil. theses on medieval and sixteenth-century romance, Anglo-Spanish literary relations, Sir Thomas Wyatt, early Tudor literature and drama, Elizabethan drama and prose fiction, and reception.

Selected Publications

Amadis in English: A Study in the Reading of Romance (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020)

‘Dramatising Heliodorus’, in Timely Voices: Romance Writing in English Literature, ed. Goran Stanivukovic (Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 2017), pp. 221-37

‘Chivalric Romance and Novella Collections’, in The Oxford History of the Novel in English, vol I: Prose Fiction in English from the Origins of Print to 1750, ed. Thomas Keymer (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), pp. 146-62

‘Admirable Inventions: Francis Kirkman and the Translation of Romance in the 1650s’, in Seventeenth-Century Fiction: Text and Transmission, ed. Jacqueline Glomski and Isabelle Moreau (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. 143-58

‘Prose Romance’ in The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, volume 2: 1558-1660, ed. Patrick Cheney and Philip Hardie, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 291-310