My research explores the representation of the Middle Ages in modern fiction, with a particular focus on the fantastical, supernatural and otherworldly: aspects of medieval life that are often neglected by authors today.
As a PhD in Creative Writing, my project comprises both creative and critical components. My creative work will be a historical novel that makes use of magic realist elements to explore the trauma of life under colonial rule in post-1066 England, while the critical piece will examine how the fantastical and the historical intersect in a variety of medieval texts and in recent fiction. My project is supervised by Dr Spencer Jordan and Dr Christina Lee, and is supported by an AHRC-funded studentship from the Midlands3Cities DTP.
I have been a professional novelist since 2010, and am the author of four novels set during the Norman Conquest, which are published in the UK, the US, Germany and the Czech Republic. My latest novel, The Harrowing, was published by Quercus in 2016 and was named by The Times as a Book of the Month. I previously studied History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (2003–6), where I specialised in the Middle Ages. I then undertook my MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University (2007–8), where I developed the concept for what became my first published novel, Sworn Sword.