Welcome to my blog

Please bear with me while I get started in the brave new world of blogging – to me anyhow!

I am a modern British history lecturer at the University of Reading.  I am broadly interested in C19th and early C20th issues of political identity including gender, childhood, secularization, feminism and that heady mix of working class politics and religion.

My existing research ‘The soul of the Labour Movement’ (monograph due out soon with I.B. Taurus) is a detailed examination of the Victorian morality and spirituality upon which the life of the Labour movement was built. It brings together two major controversies of Nineteenth Century Britain: the emergence of independent working-class politics and the decline of traditional religion. It also includes the wider contribution of the women’s movement, children’s associations and radical literary traditions.

My current research is largely based in the Nancy Astor Archive at Special Collections and at Cliveden House; ‘Battleaxes and Benchwarmers’ examines the contribution of early female MPs, particularly married MPs, between1919 and 1931. It also reassesses the importance of the 1918 Representation of the People Act on British democracy, in relation to women and the emergence of female public politicians. It raises questions on the role and contribution of conservative married women alongside more politically experienced socialist women.

After spending several years working in heritage, I remain interested in archives and collections, museums and the commercial value of heritage. As such I work with internal and external organisations to develop career enhancing placement modules for our students and develop less formal volunteer opportunities.

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