I came to Lincoln in 2014 as Pro Vice Chancellor (Arts) and Head of the College of Arts. I was previously Head of the School of History, Art History & Philosophy at the University of Sussex, and, prior to that, Head of the Social Sciences Research Institute at the University of Hertfordshire.
My research focuses on the history of Britain since c 1700 and has several distinct strands.
Rural History – I am interested in eighteenth century parliamentary enclosure, and led an AHRC project on enclosure in Northamptonshire, 1750-1850, with Owen Davies (Hertfordshire) and Ian Waites (Lincoln). I am also very interested in the history of landed estates and my D Phil, which became my first book, was a study of the great landowners in West Wales.
Political History – I have written a good deal about electoral and constitutional history. I am very interested in electoral history, and my second book was an account of electoral politics in Wales between the first and third Reform Acts (1832-1885). More recently I have become interested in Sir Robert Peel and the Conservative Party in the 1830s, and have also written about the 20th century Conservative party in relation to devolution and Britishness.
Religious History – My interest in the history of Conservatism and the landed classes in mid-Victorian Britain led me to engage with the great nineteenth-century battle between Anglicanism and Nonconformity. My current research explores the social and cultural history of religious belief in modern Britain. I am surveying the epitaphs used on gravestones since c 1700 as a means of accessing shifts in popular understandings of death and the possibility of salvation.