Ice skating at Lytham Ice skating at Lytham

Currently, I am an hourly paid lecturer at Lancaster University. I have held similar positions at Liverpool Hope and Edge Hill, and for two years I was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Southampton. I work mainly on Tudor and Stuart history, and in particular, sixteenth-century ballads in print, manuscript and the oral tradition.  My current research investigates the ballads associated with the Pilgrimage of Grace.  I’m also beginning preliminary research into the links between sixteenth-century ballads, psalms and epitaphs, as well as some work on Tudor vocal music, and the ballads of the Armada period.

My first book, Singing the News: Ballads in Mid-Tudor England was published by Routledge in 2018 as part of their ‘Material Readings in Early Modern Culture’ series.  It combines my big passions, history and music, into a 282-page whole. It provides a musical analysis of ballad tunes, as well as demonstrating that during the period 1530-1570, a time of political, religious and social upheaval, ballads were a medium through which people could debate the causes and consequences of the changes that they experienced in the world around them.

I also love to sing, and I aim to take my ABRSM Diploma as a classical soprano.  One of my claims to fame is that Babara Robotham once described my voice as “pure bel canto”! I have performed as soprano soloist for choral works and at weddings, as well as recording a folk music CD, ‘Aisling’s Dream’, with my former band, Triptych.

I  sit on the Branches and Members Committee of the Historical Association, and I am the secretary of the H.A.’s Bolton Branch.  I am a Trustee of the Association and was appointed Associate Vice-President in 2016.

I am a qualified secondary school teacher and have been a primary school governor.

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