Thesis title: 'John Milton (1608-74) and the Uses of Ancient Learning'
Supervisor: Dr William Poole
Doctoral research: We know very much about John Milton’s classical sources, allusions, and formal archetypes. But humanism did not only entail the imitation of ancient literature—and we know less about Milton’s place in the much broader intellectual culture of late humanistic classical scholarship. Amongst other things, I discuss contemporary methodologies for encountering and accommodating ancient wisdom; Milton's confessionalised erudition, including his patristic scholarship; and the uses of ancient cosmography, physics, and astronomy in Paradise Lost.
Other research: I have wider interests in intellectual history and bibliography. I have served as Hon. Treasurer of the Oxford Bibliographical Society (2020-23), and remain on its council. Some current research projects include:
The reception of the ancient astronomical writings of Aratus and Geminus of Rhodes in early modern Europe
The life and times of Robert Sharrock (1630-84), the sometime editor of Robert Boyle
The libertas philosophandi in England and continental Europe
A co-edited revised edition of Paul Morgan, Oxford Libraries Outside the Bodleian (Oxford, 1973)
‘Robert Burton, Lucretius, and the Savilian Professors’, Notes and Queries, 67 (2020), 361-5
(with William Poole), ‘Stephen Standish and the Provenance of the New College Astronomicum Cæsareum (1540)’, New College Notes, 12 (2019), article 5
Co-convenor (with Dr Sarah Cusk), 'Bibliography's Past, Present, and Future: the OBS Centenary Colloquium' (approx. 20 speakers & 130 attendees) (September 2022)
‘Robert Sharrock (1630-84): the varying institutional commitments of Robert Boyle’s editor’, at ‘The mind is its own place? Early modern intellectual history in an institutional context’, Oxford (April 2022)
‘Thomas James: catalogues and chronology’, at ‘Bodley’s first librarian, Thomas James: his career and legacy’, Bodleian Libraries Centre for the Study of the Book, Oxford (September 2020; postponed due to Covid)
‘The Royal Society Library in the seventeenth century’, at ‘Provenance in the Royal Society early book collection’, Royal Society of London (March 2020)
Research fellowship, The Huntington Library, California (2023)
Minor Grant from The Bibliographical Society of London. Project title: ‘The annotations of G.J. (1577-1649) and Isaac Vossius (1618-89) to their copies of Lucretius held at Leiden’ (2021)