I’m a lecturer in early modern literature at the University of Stirling and study the intellectual, literary, and material cultures of early modern northern Europe, particularly Scotland. My latest book – ‘Some bonie litle bookes’: A History and Catalogue of the Lindsay Library, 1570-1792 (co-authored with William Zachs) – is forthcoming from Brill and I’m currently working on a new project which explores the role of nineteenth-century publication societies, such as Walter Scott’s Bannatyne Club, in shaping modern views of the Scottish past.
Of my previous books, The First Scottish Enlightenment: Rebels, Priest, and History (Oxford University Press, 2020) is a substantial reassessment of the Scottish Early Enlightenment and my first monograph – The Antiquary: John Aubrey’s Historical Scholarship (Oxford University Press, 2016) – was a study of the working methods of one of seventeenth-century Britain’s most innovative scholars. In between, I wrote the main commentary for and co-edited Aubrey’s Villa: An Edition of Bodleian MS Aubrey 17, Designatio de Easton-Piers in Com: Wilts (Old School Press, 2018).
In addition to these larger projects, I’ve also published or spoken on numerous aspects of early modern Scottish culture, Latin, Scots, and Gaelic poetry, the history of books, book collecting, and reading, canon and disciplinary formation, epigraphy and carved stones, Scandinavian state-sponsored antiquarianism, and early modern understandings of the ancient past.
The other half of my job is being the director of the Pathfoot Press, the University of Stirling’s centre for letterpress learning and teaching. There I print – mostly Scots writing, ancient and modern – teach and talk to people about what letterpress is and why it matters more than ever in a digital age.
I am also publications secretary of the Scottish History Society, established in 1886 and currently one of the oldest publication societies in Great Britain. In that capacity, I would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in publishing editions of primary texts from Scotland’s past.
When not writing, teaching, or printing, I embarrass myself and those around me by rowing, folk singing, and stravaiging about the countryside in search of carved stones.
I’m always happy to hear from current or potential students! Just drop me a line at email@example.com.
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