January 28, 2020

[*This article was originally written for the New College of the Humanities publication The Anchor in 2016. I have made some updates in what follows.]

Sometime in the summer of 1516, just over 500 years ago, the humanist scholar Erasmus seems to have had a very clever t...

October 14, 2017

I am thrilled to announce that I have signed with Michael Joseph, a Penguin imprint, to publish a book on on the extraordinary rise and fall of one of Tudor England’s most notorious families: the Dudleys. 

In the Shadow of the Block will be a gripping and significa...

October 31, 2016

On All Hallows Eve, 31 October, 1516, almost precisely 500 years ago today, Thomas More, as was his custom, woke at about 2am, in order to pray and write in silence. He lit a candle, and, after his prayers, walked to his desk in his home in Bucklersbury, Cheapside, car...

October 3, 2016

The University of Sussex has an amazing Learning Technologies team and website, including an A-Z of helpful apps for teaching and research. I met with a member of the team the other day, Anne Hole, who introduced me to a few of these tools, which I will be tinkering wi...

October 2, 2016

If there is one good thing to come out of this year's American election, it is that it has provided some lovely examples of what not to do in university essay writing. And most of it has come from one person. In what follows I provide some guidelines for writing univer...

November 21, 2015

In my last blog post, I wrote about the trip that inspired More to write Utopia in the summer of 1515. This post will tell the rest of the story, from More's return to England in autumn 1515, to the publication of Utopia in the winter of 1516. It is a familiar story to...

May 22, 2015

It was exactly 500 years ago that Thomas More set off on the journey which would result in his most well-known work, and one of the most influential books of the last five centuries, Utopia. The book was an instant hit. First published in Leuven in 1516, 3 more Latin e...

March 6, 2015

A few days ago, an article came out in the New Statesman, showing the "Six Wives of Henry VIII, in Pie Chart Form", with the subtitle, "Not all wives are created equal". Now, obviously this was intended as a fun article, with a useful learning tool, showing how late in...

January 19, 2015

I like to think of More and Cromwell on some sort of bizarre historical seesaw. It seems that when one is up, the other is inevitably down. In A Man for All Seasons, More is the glorified protagonist, so Cromwell becomes the conniving enemy. In Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hal...

October 24, 2014

I've been experimenting around with using Digital Humanities tools -- at some point soon I'll put together a post about my findings, but here's a first go at a rather awesome timelining tool: Tiki-Toki. Easily make timelines with embedded images, links, videos that can...

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Announcement: 'In the Shadow of the Block' with Michael Joseph

October 14, 2017

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