Biography

I am Professor of English Literature at at Magdalen College, University of Oxford. I specialise in Shakespeare but my dramatic interests are wide: from ancient Greece to contemporary theatre. In the Renaissance my particular passions are Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Heywood, and the period’s most prolific playwright, “Anon”.

My research encompasses textual studies, editing, Elizabethan performance, classical influences on Renaissance writers, contemporary performances of Shakespeare’s plays, and feminist criticism. In 1985 I was a Judge on the Laurence Olivier Theatre panel, and I continue to review theatre for the TLS. From 2006-08 I was the holder of a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship to complete my new book, Helen of Troy: From Homer to Hollywood. This is forthcoming from Wiley-Blackwell in April 2009.

My recent books include Shakespeare’s Names (Oxford University Press, 2008). To read a review by Philip Schwyzer, click here. To read a review by David Crystal, click here.

In 2006/2007 I published Where there’s a Will there’s a Way; Or All I really Need to Know I Learned from Shakespeare. This was published by Penguin in the USA (2006) and by Nicholas Brealey in the UK (2007).
To read reviews or buy copies, go to http://www.amazon.co.uk

My recreational interests are identical to my work interests (theatre and books) with two additions which cannot be conducted in libraries or theatres: sport and cooking. I swim, hike, run, play squash, and go mountain-biking. And because I love to eat, I also love to cook.

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