I joined the History Department at the University of Sheffield in September 2012. My first degree was in Politics and Communication Studies from the University of Liverpool and I later worked for the BBC Political Unit, including as a researcher and TV producer. In 2004 I returned to full-time academic life to study for a Ph.D. in History, which I completed in 2008 at Royal Holloway, University of London.
My research interests are, broadly, in the history of Renaissance and early modern Europe (especially Italy and England). My work to date has explored the cultures of politics and diplomacy in the later fifteenth and sixteenth century – a theme in part inspired by my own experience of working in political environments. I have a growing interest in the reception and communication of Renaissance history – in museums, popular culture, fiction, film and online – and in the uses of history in the contemporary world.
My first book, Our Man in Rome: Henry VIII and his Italian Ambassador , was published in 2012. Written for a broad audience, it tells the inside story of Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon from the point of view of Henry’s ambassador in Rome. It was published in paperback in 2013 retitled The Divorce of Henry VIII: The Untold Story.