I always loved everyting to do wit history - at school, in films, books and on TV. I tried other careers but my fascination with the subject never dimmed and so I decided to go back to study history at University. I am really intrigued by the details of daily life. They give you a way in to understanding a different mental world as well as insights into larger questions about family, power and gender.
I studied history at the University of Essex where I completed my doctorate in 2002. My first book, Gender and Space in Early Modern England, which was published in 2007, is an attempt to explore the influence of gender on the use and organisation of space amongst early modern English men and women below the level of the elite. I was awarded the John Nichols Prize in English Local History by the University of Leicester in 1998, and have published on the organisation of sacred space; the influence of gender on the organisation and use of the market place; gender and religious violence in early modern England; the sexual division of labour, and the experience and use of domestic space by male and female servants.
My research broadly addresses the social and cultural history of early modern England within the context of local society. To date, my work has focused principally on gender relations, with particular emphasis on the history of the organisation of social space in England between the mid-sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Research interests also include micro-history, individual agency, religious culture, material culture. My approach to the study of history is interdisciplinary, employing methodologies from anthropology, geography and sociology. I also have a research interest in how my subject is taught. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and in 2012-3 was the University of Essex representative in the research team of three for the Higher Education Academy funded Bridges to History and Employment project on transition, retention and course-located skills.
Previous supervision topics
Representations of Single Women in Post-Reformation England
Gentry households: spatial codes, constructed identities and the 'real' experience of the gentry household during the early 18th century.
Clerical masculinity in early modern England
Clothing culture in early modern Essex.
Pugs and Patrons: A History of Bare-knuckle Prize-fighting from Broughton to Sayers.
Representations of Gender in the 1641 Irish rebellion
Marriage a la Mode? Courtship, Contracts and Control: The Making of the Eighteenth Century Parentally Arranged Aristocratic Marriage
Plebeian Honour Fights in Eighteenth Century London: a study of masculinity and violence
A cultural history of male violence: a history of boxingfrom the early eighteenth to the later nineteenth century