I was educated at Oxford University both as an undergraduate and doctoral student in English Language and Literature. I have, since then, worked as a teacher of English at a top UK independent school. I have worked with students right through secondary school, as well as teaching undergraduates and postgraduates at Oxford University.
I have high expectations of my students, and I help students to meet these by engendering real interest and confidence in studying literature and language. I am a strong believer in reading for pleasure as a force for improving all aspects of an English education – a belief that is reinforced by growing mountains of research. I aim to equip my students with reading and writing skills that are useful in all their endeavours, but also with a curiosity about the written word for its own sake.
My research interests lie in the Anglo-Norman period, though this niche is seldom indulged by the compilers of school curricula. Since becoming a teacher, I have enjoyed teaching Shakespeare the most – a writer that I had barely read since I was an undergraduate. Challenging though the plays can be, they have a freshness and an insight that continues to impress students even now.
Outside of teaching, I work as a writer. I have written libretti on a number of subjects including the abolition of slavery and the Anglo-Saxon poem ‘The Battle of Maldon’. I am currently researching for a book about blackmail in nineteenth-century London. In my spare time, I enjoy running, cycling and carpentry.