Personal profile

Personal profile

Senior Lecturer, English

Deputy Director, MA in Shakespeare.

I joined Royal Holloway in 2008 to work in both the English and Drama Departments; I am now based in the English Department. Before that I was the Muriel Bradbrook Fellow and Director of Studies at Girton College, Cambridge. From 2000-02 I held a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship, at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

My first degree was a BA (Hons) in French and German from St John’s College, Oxford. I then spent a number of years working in theatre, arts and education. While Coordinator of the Japan Festival 1991 (Ireland) in Belfast, I completed a part-time MA in Anglo-Irish Literature at the University of Ulster and then returned to Oxford to manage Pegasus Theatre. Then, with British Academy funding, I completed a D. Phil. on military writing in seventeenth-century Ireland at St John’s College, Oxford    


Research and Teaching Interests

My research is principally concerned with English and Irish literature of the early modern period. I have written about (and edited) Irish literature in English; classical republicanism in early modern Britain and France; historiography and nationhood. I am particularly interested in drama, as text, in performance and on film. My teaching and research centre on Shakespeare, Renaissance and seventeenth-century drama; I also work on contemporary British and Irish drama and film. At the moment, I am writing a study of the representation of assassins and assassination on the early modern stage.

My first book Between Spenser and Swift: English Writing in Seventeenth-Century Ireland (Cambridge, 2005 [paperback 2009]) was awarded the American Conference for Irish Studies prize for best book on literature. I am on the Editorial Board for the Early Modern Irish Texts series published by Four Courts Press, Dublin where my edition of Henry Burnell's play Landgartha [Dublin 1641] appeared in 2013.

Formerly a theatre manager, I work to maintain my links with the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Globe and Pegasus Theatre, Oxford. In 2015-16, I will be working with young people from Pegasus Theatre on a collaborative theatre project called Storming Utopia, a celebration of Shakespeare's The Tempest as well as of the 1516 publication of Sir Thomas More's Utopia. I have also worked with a number of small-scale theatre companies and solo performers, for example I collaborated with the puppeteer Stephen Mottram on his award-winning show The Seas of Organillo which continues to tour internationally:

At present, I am supervising (and advising on) a number of PhDs on Shakespeare, Renaissance and Classical drama, in particular how such drama translates into contemporary performance, from The Bacchae, through Shakespeare in Bollywood, to modern Hamlets andSarah Kane. I welcome enquiries from graduate students who find that the interests outlined above chime with their own. 



  • Ireland; Irish literature; Classical Republicanism; Renaissance; Shakespeare; Spenser; Swift; renaissance drama; shakespeare on film; assassins; early modern stage;