Professor in Early Modern History
Location History Office, Arts Two
I was born and raised in Preston, Lancashire. Growing up in a matriarchal mill town where wives historically worked out of the house as well as in, fostered my love of social and economic history, and fascination with the warp and woof of work and family, power and emotion. Truth to tell, life in a cotton town also inspired a life-long love of clothes.
I have wide interests in the history of British society and culture, gender and family, words and objects.
- The history of women and men
- love and power
- Consumerism and fashion
- Objects and space
- Art and architecture
- The Georgians
- Post war British society and culture
Current PhD Students
I welcome applications from candidates wishing to undertake doctoral research in the following areas:
- The history of objects, consumerism and dress, homes and space,
- Women, men and gender since the late Middle Ages
- Archival research on unusual sources
- Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England (Yale University Press, 2009) A history book of the year in the Independent, Guardian, New York Times, Scottish Herald, History Today. Short listed for the Hessel-Tiltman History Prize.
- The Gentleman's Daughter: Women's Lives in Georgian England (Yale University Press, 1998)
- Winner of the Whitfield prize, the Wolfson prize and the Longman-History Today prize.
- Ed, Gender, Taste and Material Culture in Britain and North America, 1700-1830 (Studies in British Art, Yale University Press, 2006).
- Ed, Women Privilege and Power: British Politics, 1750 to the Present (Stanford University Press, 2001)
- Mutton Dressed as Lamb? Fashioning Age in Georgian England’, Journal of British Studies, 2013,
- ‘Fashioning Difference in Georgian England: Furniture for Him and for Her’ in Paula Findlen (ed), Early Modern Things: Objects and Their Histories, 1500-1800 (London: Routledge, 2012)
- ‘The Theory and Practice of Female Accomplishment’, in Mark Laird and Alicia Weisberg-Roberts (eds), Mrs Delany and her Circle (Yale Center for British Art, Yale University Press, 2009). Winner of the 30th Annual George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award given by the Art Libraries Society of North America; Winner of the First Place in the category of Exhibition Catalogues (over $10), given by the New England Museum Association
- ‘An Englishman’s House is His Castle? Privacies, Boundaries and Thresholds in the Eighteenth-Century London House’, Past and Present (2008), 199 (2008), pp. 147-73.
- ‘His and Hers: Gender, Consumption and Household Accounting in 18th century England’, in Lyndal Roper and Ruth Harris (eds), The Art of Survival: Essays in Honour of Olwen Hufton (Past and Present, 2006)., pp. 12-38
- 'S'il vous plait, Brulez cela afin qu'aucun oeil mortel ne puisse le voir: les secrets des sources feminines', in Jean-Pierre Bardet et Francois-Joseph Ruggiu (eds), Au plus pres du secret des coeurs? Nouvelle lectures historiques des ecrits du for privé en Europe du XVIe au XVIIIe siecle (Presses de l'universite Paris Sorbonne, 2005)
- 'Golden Age to Separate Spheres: A Review of the Categories and Chronology of English Women's History', Historical Journal, 36, 2 (1993), pp. 383-414. The most downloaded & most cited article on their website. Republished 2007 in the Historical Journal’s 50th edition of ’20 classic papers’.
- Wolfson Prize
- Longman History Today prize
- Whitfield Prize.
- Junior Research Fellowship, Churchill College Cambridge
- Clark Fellowship, UCLA
- Helen Bing Fellowship, Huntington Library California
- Yale Center for British Art Fellowship
- Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship
- Visiting Professorship, Historicum, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich.
- Fletcher Jones Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the Huntington.
- Kratter Professorship at Stanford University, USA.
- Shortlisted for the Royal Television Society for best history programme of the year, 2010
- Shortlisted for the 2009 Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History
Membership of professional associations or societies
Appearances in the media
I have written and presented several history series for BBC2 and BBC Radio 4 on diverse themes from historical novels and love, to consumerism and kinship.
I review for:
Recent series include: