My research field is the religion and political culture of early modern England, including notions of honour, memory and reputation, and the English civil wars more specifically. I am also concerned with the interaction between the gentry and the people in the process of allegiance formation. My work hopes to break down old divisions that distance political from social history, and national from local, hoping to establish stronger integration between the politics of the parish and the politics of the state.
'I have recently finished a monograph for Oxford University Press entitled 'Turncoats and Renegadoes': Changing Sides during the English Civil Wars. It explores contemporary notions of self-fashioning, honour and reputation in an investigation of those that changed sides during these conflicts. My talk at the National Army Museum as part of their 'Lunchtime Lectures' series highlights some of the main themes of the book.
Current Research Projects
I am currently co-editing for publication the papers of the conference held at the University of Leicester in June 2012 that commemorated the 400th birthday of Sir Thomas Fairfax, which is forthcoming as Andrew Hopper and Philip Major (eds), 'England's Fortress': New Perspectives on Thomas, 3rd Lord Fairfax (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014). I am also researching two articles that focus on the civil war career of Thomas Wayte, Rutland's regicide, and the 'Great Blow', the riot and enormous explosion that devastated the city of Norwich in April 1648. A larger scale project is under preparation that is concerned with welfare in the civil wars and the experiences of widows and orphans during and after these conflicts.