19992021

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Overview

I've taught at the University of Hertfordshire since 2000 where I'm currently Head of the Department of Humanites, having previously been Associate Dean (Learning & Teaching) in the School of Humanities, Head of English Literature and Creative Writing and Associate Dean (Research). I've also worked for the Higher Education Academy English Subject Centre, as part of a team involved in projects relating to the teaching of English. In 2013 I was elected a Fellow of the English Association.

My current teaching includes the 3rd year module Eurocrime on Page and Screen in which we look at the development of crime fiction and film across Europe including the popularity of Nordic Noir.

My research interests centre on literature of the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, particularly crime and sensation fiction,  theatre (1910-1940) and  individual Victorian writers such as Wilkie Collins, Bram Stoker and Mrs Henry Wood. I'm always keen to hear from people wanting to pursue postgraduate research in these areas.

cover

My most recent book is a biography of the children's author Enid Blyton (published by Palgrave/Springer, 2021).  

From 2014-19 I was a Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded Everyday Lives in War: First World War Engagement Centre. This worked to support community research projects, connecting academic and public histories of the war. See our website.

Other recent publications include the book British Theatre and the Great War 1914-1919 (Palgrave, (2015), and a student guide to R.C. Sherriff's famous war play Journey's End (Bloomsbury/Methuen; 2016).

See the source image

 

See the source image 

 

World War I Theatre Project

Since 2011 I've been leading a performance-based project World War I Theatre which revives forgotten plays of the First World War period and after, working with professional actors and directors, schools and local groups.

Productions have included J.M. Barrie's A Well-Remembered Voice (1918), the premiere of Robert Graves' play But it Still Goes On (1929) and a revival of St John Ervine's 1913 play Jane Clegg written at the height of the suffragette campaign. It ran at London's award-winning Finborough Theatre in London in April 2019, directed by David Gilmore. The production was a finalist in the OffWestEnd awards 2021. 

Our most recent projects were a production of Kate O'Brien's 1926 play Distinguished Villa directed by Hugh Fraser (Finborough Theatre, September 2022). The trailer can be viewed here.  

This was followed by a production of three 1-act plays: Gertrude Robins' Makeshifts (1908) and Realities (1911), and Harold Harwood's Honour thy Father (1912). These were also produced at the Finborough Theatre  (August 2023), directed by Melissa Dunne. 

Research interests

Nineteenth century literature and culture, in particular sensation fiction; early twentieth century theatre, particularly First World War entertainment; Enid Blyton; biography.

Teaching specialisms

I currently teach on the third year module`Euro-Crime on Page and Screen', a study of European crime fiction and film, 1920 to the present day.

 

External positions

External Examiner MA Victorian Studies, Leeds Trinity University

1 Sept 2021 → …

External Examiner BA Liberal Arts, St Mary's University Twickenham

30 Jun 2021 → …

External Examiner, BA English, University of Bedfordshire

1 Sept 201231 Jul 2016

External Examiner, BA Humanities Programme, Plymouth University

1 Sept 200931 Jul 2012

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