I have been lucky enough to be in research roles for a number of years, which has rather swelled the list of my interests. In essence, I involve myself with the literary, scholarly and intellectual history of early modern Europe, with a focus, by no means exclusive, on England. I am a passionate believer in the learning of languages, above all Latin, and not just its utility but its necessity for the early modernist. The area of my research in which I am most 'advanced' is perhaps natural philosophy and science in England from about 1560 to 1620. I have given talks on such figures as William Gilbert, Francis Bacon, Richard Crakanthorpe and William Pemble in this regard. I have also drawn attention the scientiic thought of the Elizabethan Catholic martyr Edmund Campion and the relation thereof to Francisco de Toledo, SJ, in a seemingly forgotten Prague manuscript. I have the pleasure and the privilege to be editing Francis Bacon (with two colleagues, Rhodri Lewis and Sophie Weeks) for Oxford University Press. Most of these concerns come from a long-standing commitment to the study of the university curriculum, and a volume of essays thereon, which I am editing with a colleague from Cambridge, Richard Serjeantson. This in turn stems from research in European Aristotelianism, on which I have yet to publish, but which continues to evolve. In particular, I am interested in commentaries on the Physics, and in the relationship between natural philosophy and metaphysics. The first fruits of this are an article on the topic of the Platonic polyhedra in the Renaissance. A volume of translastions of Renaissance philosophy, co-edited with Paul Richard Blum, is forthcoming.
A second interest is the field of practical divinity (c. 1570 - 1650), on which I have (more or less) finished a monograph. This book looks at the intellectual consequences of a Calvinist pastoral vision in the English parish. How did people try and cope with the psychological effects of Calvinism, and how did they draw on therapeutic, medical and Stoic language to assist in the construction of a workable faith? This relates to a broader interest in the history of Calvinism itself, but one which looks to take seriously the intellectual components of 'belief'.
A third and more minor project relates to the history of scholarship and of literature. The Roman Horace found himself the object of a great deal of scholarly attention in sixteenth-century France, and I am studying both this reception and the deployment of his works in a number of poets. Particular attention will be paid to the evolution of Lambin's commentary on Horace, the form of reading that was used in the protestant Academy at Sedan and the works of the NeoLatin poet, Macrin. I am organizing a conference on this topic with an American colleague Ariane Schwartz.
Finally, I have a great interest in the general history of Transylvania, on which I am minded to write a popular book.