Having written extensively on parliament, localities, and political culture in early modern England, and on England’s calamitous first state lottery, I turned to explore representations of disorder and witchcraft in early modern theatre. Of particular interest has been the writings of Thomas Dekker, including his collaboratively written play, The Witch of Edmonton. I’m currently co-writing (with Dr Kathryn Prince of the University of Ottawa) Shakespeare’s England, a textbook introducing students to the period with a focus on its drama.

Selected Books, Edited Books, Journal Special Issues

The Witch of Edmonton

A major re-assessment of Dekker, Ford, and Rowley’s The Witch of Edmonton (1621) brought together scholars from different disciplines in this Issues in Review section of the journal Early Theatre. As guest editor I also contributed an essay, Introduction: Histories and Contexts in The Witch of Edmonton

Law-Making and Society in Late Elizabethan England (1996, 2002)

This book offered the first detailed account of the last Elizabethan parliaments. Examining a wide range of social and economic issues, law reform, religious and political concerns, it addressed the importance of parliament both as a political event and as a legislative institution. I drew on an array of local, corporate and personal archives to reinterpret the legislative history of the period and in doing so, I think I reached a deeper understanding of many aspects of Elizabethan history.

The Parliaments of Elizabethan England (1990)

For much of the 20th century the parliaments of Elizabeth I had traditionally been viewed as areas of conflict between a conservative Queen on the one hand and an organized Puritan opposition on the other. By placing the activities of the Elizabethan parliaments firmly within the English polity, this book sought to provide a fuller picture of the politics of parliaments. Together, the essays contributed to our understanding of what Elizabethan parliaments did, how they did it and how its activities were perceived by contemporaries.

Chapters in Books (just a few of my favourites)

‘Parliament’ in Susan Doran and Norman L. Jones (eds) The Elizabethan World (London: Routledge, 2010), 113-29

‘Locality and Self in the Elizabethan Lottery of the 1560s’ in Norman L. Jones and Daniel Woolf (eds) Local Identities in Late Medieval and Early Modern England (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 207-27

‘Elizabethan Government and Politics’, in Norman Jones and Robert Tittler (eds), Blackwell Companion to Tudor Britain (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004), 44-60

‘Image and Ritual in the Tudor Parliament’ in Dale Hoak (editor), Tudor Political Culture (Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 243-71

‘Locality and Parliament: The Legislative Activities of Devon’s MPs during the Reign of Elizabeth’ in T. Grey, M. Rowe and A. Erskine (editors), Tudor and Stuart Devon: The Common Estate and Government. Essays Presented to Joyce Youings (Exeter, 1992), pp. 75-95

Selected Articles in Journals

  • “Elizabeth’s Lottery: Political Culture and State Formation in Early Modern England”, Journal of British Studies 50:3 (July 2011) 587-611
  • ‘Representation and accountability: a comparison of early modern England and Poland’, with J.  Choinska-Mika, Parliaments, Estates and Representation 21 (November, 2001), 91-101.
  • ‘Patrons, Clients and Conferences: The Workings of Bicamerism in the Sixteenth Century English’ in H. Blom (editor), Bicamerism: Proceedings of the 175 Jaar Eerste Kamer Der Staten-Generaal Conference (The Hague, 1992), pp. 209-2
  • ‘Pressure Groups and Lobbies in the Elizabethan and Jacobean Parliaments’ in Parliaments, Estates and Representation, 11, 2 (December 1991), 139-52
  • ‘Parliament, Privy Council and Local Politics in Elizabethan England: The Yarmouth-Lowestoft Fishing Dispute’, Albion, 22, 1 (1990), 39-64
  • ‘Public or Private? London, Leather and Legislation in Elizabethan England’, Historical Journal 31 (1988) 525-48