About


I am Professor of English Literature and Book History and Director of the Centre for the History of the Book at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

My most recent book is The Secret Life of Books (Elliott & Thompson, 2019).  It’s about all the things we do to books and all the things they do to us.  Christopher de Hamel called it ‘probably the most compulsive text ever penned about what it means to handle and possess a book’.

Before that, I wrote What the Victorians Made of Romanticism (Princeton, 2017).  The book offers a new reception history of Romantic authors in Victorian Britain. I pay particular attention to understudied practices of citation, appropriation and redeployment, and to commodified or remediated sites of reception, such as illustrated editions, anthologies and statues.  A paperback edition appeared in March 2020.

I studied at the University of Bristol and have worked at the University of Glasgow, the University of Bristol and, most recently, as Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. At McGill, I was Principal Investigator of the Interacting with Print Research Group, and a key member of the multigraph collective that wrote Interacting with Print (Chicago, 2017).