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Associate Professor, History, University of Stirling

I am a native of Leeds in Yorkshire and a graduate of Girton College, Cambridge, where I studied under Dr Alistair Reid. I hold an MPhil on late Victorian politics from the University of Birmingham and a PhD from the University of Leicester. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

From 2002 until 2019 I was head of history at Newman University in Birmingham, where I established Single Honours History for the first time and then set up a Masters degree in Victorian Studies.

In 2012 I published my first major monograph The Liberal Unionist Party, 1886-1912: A History which was shortlisted for the Total Politics Political History Book of the Year in 2013 and described by Professor Vernon Bogdanor in the Times Literary Supplement as “one of the most important works on the politics of the late Victorian era to have appeared in recent years.”

In 2014 I organised the international Joseph Chamberlain centenary conference and edited a collection of essays arising from the conference in Joseph Chamberlain: International Statesman, National Leader, Local Icon which was launched at the Palace of Westminster in 2016 and selected by the Financial Times as one of their books of the summer.

I am a member of the Centre for Print History and Culture steering group and in 2019 edited the Centre’s first collection of essays: Print, Politics and the Provincial Press. I am a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement and have been interviewed by the BBC for Midlands Today, Newsnight and Inside Out. I am also an adviser for the Heritage Lottery Funded project: ‘Everything to Everybody’ run by the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council and am an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham.


  • 2019–present
    Associate Professor in British political and religious history, University of Stirling
  • 2002–2019
    Head of History, Newman University, Birmingham