College: College of Humanities
Department: College of Humanities
I consider myself an early modern historian, with particular interest in South-West England, especially Devon and Cornwall. Originally from Plymouth, I retain a strong affection for the south Devon and south-east Cornwall area. My undergraduate dissertation was on women and politics from 1536-1540, as studied through the case study of Lady Honor Lisle. This was in no way related to my postgraduate degree that investigated what happened to the dead when the monasteries in which they were interred were dissolved between 1536 - 1538. By this time the bug of researching had got me, and I came to Exeter to seek fame, fortune, and a Ph.D.
My thesis will seek to explore the changing interiors and domestic activity in Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, and Somerset between 1650 and 1750, with particular attention on the relationship between the changing domestic environment and the activities of the people within that property. There are several key aspects that I wish to draw out from the research that will make pre-dominant use of plans of early modern properties and inventories, including how these properties actually changed in internal layout and room numbers, how the purpose of these rooms changed, and how domestic behaviours and household production changed. In the course of the thesis I also want to see if there is an evidence for supposing that Cornwall and Cornish houses developed differently from the rest of the south-west; it is keen topic of debate that there was some 'Cornish distinctiveness', and it can be detected, or not, in early modern housing this could suggest something of Cornish society. For I am keen to build on earlier arguments that by examining housing, we can start to understand the social and cultural influences upon the early modern household, as particularly suggested by the ceiling and 'closing' of the house, and thus start to understand how early modern society changed. I also will bring other techniques and methodology into examining the central argument, particularly the linking of inventories with the actual house they refer to when possible, and morphological analysis / space syntax analysis to understand the totality of the domestic environment.
Outside of academia, I have many fingers in many amateur pies, with a keen interest in photography (not to any professional standard), kayaking, rugby (supporting, not playing), as well as archaeology.