My research interests lie in the social and economic history of England from the sixteenth to the early eighteenth centuries. I began work for my D.Phil. on the effects of plague and reactions to it in England in that period, and moved on to work on urban history and the history of social policy. My publications include The Impact of Plague in Tudor and Stuart England (Routledge 1985), Poverty and Policy in Tudor and Stuart England (Longman 1988), and From Reformation to Improvement: Public Welfare in Early Modern England (Oxford, 1999). I am currently working on political economy, broadly defined, in early modern England, how it reflected – or failed to reflect - changes in standards of living.
From 1973 to 1996 I was Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at Exeter College, and then Principal of Linacre College from 1996 until I retired in 2010. I was one of the editors of the journal Past and Present from 1985 to 1994.
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