A fascination with the stories of other lives ensured I read constantly as a child. I went on to study English and French at Oxford, loving the limitless breadth of the literature and the independence I was given to respond to it with creative originality as well as intellectual depth. A year out in France offered a different kind of freedom – I taught English, and I wandered the streets, sat in the cafés, dreamt in French, and began to write on Henry James, which led subsequently to a DPhil thesis on this most cosmopolitan ‘citizen of nowhere’.
After a PGCE, a teaching career in English and English Literature followed, with the discovery each and every year of new writers across all periods, genres and cultures. The smell of a new book and the tantalising prospect of settling down to turn the first page have never dimmed, but what has grown for me is the delight of sharing these journeys with students of all ages, from Year 7 to A level and beyond! I love to hear how my students respond to their reading and am committed to supporting them in developing clear, thoughtful, organised and persuasive writing skills of their own.
Alongside my teaching, I have been an examiner, for both CIE IGCSE English Literature and at A level. I’ve also worked on a lot of summer schools, relishing the perspectives of students from across the world. I continue to write on literature when time allows, often for student audiences.
When I’m not on the cultural trail, I’m escaping on country walks, playing tennis, volunteering in the community, or seeking a peaceful moment in a quiet church or garden.