My background is in academia: for many years I worked as a university researcher and lecturer. By training I am a historian with particular specialisms in early modern British and European history, cultural history and the history of ideas. I’ve been a member of two major research projects, and closely involved in several publications. My research and teaching has always been interdisciplinary, spanning philosophy, literature, politics, art history, psychology, anthropology, sociology and digital humanities.
As a lecturer and tutor I have taught courses on, among other topics, Shakespeare, early modern philosophy, the history of heretical, millenarian and occult thought, the history of sex and sexuality, Tudor and Stuart Britain, and general historiography. In addition, I have lectured on study skills and academic writing, and have supervised numerous dissertations. I have also been an undergraduate admissions tutor for history.
In 2014 I decided to swap my academic career for one as a freelancer (although I continue to hold a small lecturing position at Birkbeck, University of London). Initially, I focused on private tutoring, much of which provided editorial advice to clients, as well as taking on some copy-editing and proofreading work. For reasons that remain mysterious to me, I have long loved the process that determines whether a semi-colon needs to be replaced by a colon, or that deliberates whether a word might be better replaced by one of its synonyms to improve the flow of a sentence. The decision to focus full time on copy-editing and proofreading was not hard, particularly since, in another mystery, I have an excellent eye for detail.
I am an occasional writer and blogger; examples of some of my writing, sometimes of an opinionated and political nature, can be found at Past and Present Progressive. I have published one short novel and various other writings under a couple of noms de plume. With painful slowness, I am putting together a website focused on my love of cultural and intellectual history: Ideas and Identities. I read widely in numerous genres, both fiction and non-fiction, and I would find it hard to live without the London Review of Books. Most things, from film to sport, from popular culture to economics, interest me in one way or another. I spend a lot of time thinking.
Skills and experience
As well as copy-editing and proofreading, I also have experience in the following areas:
- Digital publishing
- Website development (particularly WordPress)
- Online learning and teaching
- MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Publisher)
- Languages: reading knowledge of Latin and French, and some Italian, German and ancient Greek
2014-present: copy-editor and proofreader; freelance writer and independent researcher
2004-present: Associate Lecturer in History at Birkbeck, University of London
2010-14: Lecturer in History and Undergraduate Admissions Tutor at Goldsmiths, University of London
2009-10: Cataloguer in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum
2006-9: Research Assistant on the British Printed Images to 1700 project at Birkbeck, University of London
2000-4: Research Assistant on the Oxford Francis Bacon project at Queen Mary, University of London
2000-3: Teaching Assistant in the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary, University of London
1999-2000: Library Trainee at the Warburg Institute, University of London
2000: PhD on ‘Seventeenth-century accounts of philosophy’s past: Theophilus Gale and his continental precursors’; Warburg Institute, University of London
1994: MA in Combined Historical Studies (The Renaissance); Warburg Institute, University of London
1992: BA (First Class Honours) in History; University of Durham