My first book, Recollection in the Republics: Memories of the British Civil Wars in England, 1649-1659 (OUP, 2021), provides the first comprehensive study of the ways Britain's Civil Wars were remembered in the decade between the regicide and the restoration. Drawing on a wide-ranging and innovative source base, from memoirs and monuments to objects and ephemera, it places the national authorities' attempts to shape the meaning of the recent past alongside evidence of what the English people - lords and labourers, men and women, veterans and civilians - actually were remembering. It demonstrates that memories of the domestic conflicts were central to the politics and society of England's republican interval, inflecting national and local discourses, complicating and transforming inter-personal relationships, and infusing and forging individual and collective identities. In so doing, it enhances our understanding of the nature of early modern memory and the experience of post-civil war states more broadly. Further, by situating 1650s England in relation to other post-conflict societies, both within and beyond early modernity, it points to a consistency in some of the challenges that have confronted post-civil war states across time and space.
I have also published several articles and book chapters on memory, reconciliation, and the commemoration of conflict, including articles in Historical Research and Northern History (see my publications list below).
In 2019, I was awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship for my work on intergenerational family collections. This has developed into my current research project, Family Archives and their Afterlives, which explores the construction and curation of family archives in England from the late sixteenth to the early nineteenth century. Drawing on a wide range of collections accumulated by families from across the social scale and across the country, this project explores which items were kept, why, and the multifarious meanings that these materials possessed for their compilers, heirs, and wider social and familial networks. My first article based on this project, ‘Manuscripts, Memory, and the Family Archive in Eighteenth Century England’, is forthcoming with Cultural and Social History. I am also working on an edition for the Camden Record Series - Family, Memory, and Nonconformity: The Writings of George Wansey, 1713-1762 - which explores the writings and intergenerational archive of an eighteenth-century clothier.
You can find out more about my current research project, including recordings of workshops, CFPs, and other resources at www.family-archives.co.uk.