My historical interests are focused on the period between the Black Death and the Break with Rome. While a medievalist by training, I explore themes in religion, intellectual and cultural life which reach across the traditional boundaries of medieval and early modern; likewise, my approach is informed not only by the sources and methods of the historian but also by those of researchers in literary, artistic and material culture.
I am currently historical consultant on Company Pictures' TV adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s White Princess. I have made regular and varied contributions to TV and Radio including Making History (BBC), History of Christianity (C4), Lost Buildings (C4) and Time Trail (ITV/UKTV History).
My training in medieval and pre-Reformation history began as an undergraduate at Bristol under the guidance of Anthony Tuck, Ronald Hutton and, briefly, when a visiting professor, Geoffrey Elton. It was continued at New College, Oxford, where I completed a DPhil under the supervision of Jeremy Catto. As a Junior Research Fellow and British Academy Posdoctoral Fellow at Brasenose College, I remained in Oxford until 2001. I joined the History Department at Bristol in 2001/2, progressing to a personal chair in 2010/11. I came to the History Department at Exeter in April 2013. I was elected a fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2008. I am a founder member of the editorial board of the Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies (Brepols). Since 2012/13 I have been Chair of the Management Board of the South West & Wales Universities Consortium which is bidding for an AHRC Doctoral Training Programme.