Academic Interests

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    I am Professor of Modern History at the University of Southampton.  I specialise in modern British history with particular interests in the nineteenth century.  My work ranges across the political history of the period, including British foreign policy, the history of social reform and philanthropy, and Victorian liberalism.


    Palmerston and the politics of foreign policy, 1846-55 (Manchester University Press, 2002).

    Palmerston: A Biography (Yale University Press, 2010).

    Edited collections

    (ed. with Miles Taylor), Palmerston Studies I and Palmerston Studies II (Southampton: Hartley Institute, University of Southampton, 2007).

    (ed. with Robert Crowcroft and Gordon Pentland), The Oxford Handbook of Modern British Political History, 1800-2000 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018)


    Articles and chapters

    ‘Compelling but not Controlling?: Palmerston and the Press, 1846-1855’, History, 86 (January 2001), 41-61.

    ‘The Power of Public Opinion: Palmerston and the Crisis of December 1851’, Parliamentary History, 20:3 (October 2001), 333-358.

    Palmerston, South Hampshire and Electoral Politics, 1832-1835. Hampshire Papers, 26 (Winchester, 2003).

    ‘Cobden and the Press’, in Anthony Howe and Simon Morgan (eds.), Rethinking Nineteenth Century Liberalism: Richard Cobden Bicentenary Essays (Ashgate, 2006), pp. 80-95.

    ‘Palmerston and Anglo-French relations, 1846-65’, Diplomacy and Statecraft, 17:4 (December 2006), 675-92. (reprinted in Glyn Stone and T.G. Otte (eds.), Anglo-French Relations since the late Eighteenth Century (Routledge, 2008), pp. 41-58)

    ‘Palmerston and the 1850s’, in D. Brown and M. Taylor (eds.), Palmerston Studies I (Hartley Institute, 2007), pp. 68-94.

    ‘Morally transforming the world or spinning a line?: politicians and the newspaper press in mid-nineteenth century Britain’, Historical Research, Vol. 83, No. 220 (May 2010), 321-42.

    ‘Palmerston and Austria’, in Lothar Höbelt and Thomas G. Otte (eds.), A Living Anachronism?: European Diplomacy and the Habsburg Monarchy.  Festschrift für Francis Roy Bridge zum 70. Geburtstag (Böhlau, 2010), pp. 29-48.

    ‘Lord Palmerston and Parliamentary Representation, 1830-65’, in Jean Garrigues, Éric Anceau, Frédéric Attal, Noëlline Castagnez, Noëlle Dauphin, Sabine Jansen and Olivier Tort (eds.), Assemblées et Parlements dans le Monde, du Moyen-Âge à Nos Jours/Representative and Parliamentary Institutions in the World from Middle Age to Present Times (57th Conference of the International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions (Paris: Assemblée Nationale/Comite d’Histoire Parlementaire et Politique, 2010), pp. 41-53.

    ‘Diplomacy and the Fourth Estate: The Role of the Press in British Foreign Policy in the Age of Palmerston’, in John Fisher and Antony Best (eds.), On the Fringes of Diplomacy: Influences on British Foreign Policy, 1800-1945 (Ashgate, 2011), pp. 35-51.

    ‘Derby and the ‘Political Chameleon’: The Changing Views of Palmerston from Knowsley’, in Geoffrey Hicks (ed.), Conservatism and British Foreign Policy, 1820-1920 (Ashgate, 2011), pp. 59-79.

    ‘Reform, Free Trade and the Birth of the Liberal Party (1830-1859)’, in Robert Ingham and Duncan Brack (eds.), Peace, Reform and Liberation: A History of Liberal Politics in Britain 1679-2011 (Biteback, 2011), pp. 41-75.

    ‘Lord Palmerston’, in Duncan Brack, Robert Ingham and Tony Little (eds.), British Liberal Leaders: Leaders of the Liberal Party, SDP and Liberal Democrats since 1828 (Biteback, 2015), pp. 121-42.

    ‘The Press’, in David Brown, Robert Crowcroft and Gordon Pentland (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Modern British Political History, 1800-2000 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), pp. 154-72

    ‘Palmerston’s conquest of Sligo’ in Matthew Kelly (ed.), Nature and the Environment in Nineteenth-Century Ireland(Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2019), pp. 35-54.

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