My research explores the literature and culture of England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. I’ve published books and articles on autobiographical writing; the circulation and evolution of texts between different readers, writers, and forms of publication; the idea of popularity in literature; editorial theory and the history of the book; the history of reading; early modern poetry; and the cultures of manuscript and print.
I’ve recently become very interested in the inventive materiality of early modern texts, and the remarkable things readers did to books in the name of reading (cutting, pasting, annotating, burning …). This research has been helped by events organised under the Material Texts Network, including conferences on ‘Book Destruction’ and ‘Missing Texts.’ Much of my work involves careful archival research, out of which I try to build larger, bolder arguments about the early modern period. I’m always interested in finding ways in which the early modern period is different from our culture today.