Academic Interests

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    About

    My primary research interest is in Ireland in the period 1171–1541 and, arising from that, in the wider ‘English world’ or ‘Plantagenet empire’ of which Ireland formed an important part. Before returning to Trinity in 2013, I was a Past and Present Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research and a Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of East Anglia. I am currently completing a monograph entitled ‘England’s First Colony: Power, Conflict and Colonialism in the Lordship of Ireland, 1361–1460’. I am the principal editor of CIRCLE: A Calendar of Irish Chancery Letters, c.1244–1509 (https://chancery.tcd.ie/), a reconstruction of the Irish chancery rolls destroyed in the 1922 cataclysm at the Four Courts. A three-volume print edition of CIRCLE will appear with the Irish Manuscripts Commission. In September 2013, I co-founded with Professor S. Duffy the biennial Trinity Medieval Ireland Symposium (TMIS), whose first volume is to appear in 2015: ‘The Geraldines and Medieval Ireland: The Making of a Myth’.

    I am also interested in ‘empire’, not least as a means of subverting or complicating the narratives of centralization and uniformity that have dominated much research on the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in Europe. These are the centuries normally classified as ‘late medieval’, a problematic term used more for the purposes of sub-disciplinary gate-keeping than for any real meaning that it holds. The challenge of research on this period — sandwiched as it is between the ‘high medieval’ and the ‘early modern’ — is to understand and describe its historical developments without resort to narratives of either decline or anticipation. So long as ‘medieval’ is understood to be a chronological descriptor (and a Eurocentric one at that), rather than a value-laden term with an implicit developmentalist agenda, then its use need not foreclose on meaningful structural comparisons, whether synchronic or diachronic in perspective. I essayed a general interpretation of England’s empire, which adopts such perspectives, in ‘State of the Union: Perspectives on English Imperialism in the Late Middle Ages’ (Past and Present, no. 211). In July 2014, together with David Green and W. Mark Ormrod, I co-convened the Harlaxton Medieval Symposium, which took as its subject ‘The Plantagenet Empire, 1259-1453’ (the proceedings will appear in 2016). My work on England’s late-medieval ‘empire’ has sparked a research interest in the history of empires and colonialism more generally. I am currently editing a major collection of essays entitled ‘Empires and Bureaucracy from Late Antiquity to the Twentieth Century’ with Timothy H. Parsons (Washington in St Louis).

    Work Shared in CORE

    Book chapters

    Other Publications

    Digital Publication
    2012–. CIRCLE: A Calendar of Irish Chancery Letters, c.1244–1509 (https://chancery.tcd.ie/)
    Books
    2016. Ed. with Timothy H. Parsons. Empires and Bureaucracy in World History: From Late Antiquity to the Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-1-10716-603-5. 474 pp.
    2016. Ed. with D. Green and W. Mark Ormrod. The Plantagenet Empire, 1259–1453. Harlaxton Medieval Studies XXVI. Donnington: Shaun Tyas. ISBN: 978-1-90773-052-8. 432 pp.
    2016. Ed. with Seán Duffy. The Geraldines and medieval Ireland: The Making of a Myth. Trinity Medieval Ireland Series I. Dublin: Four Courts Press. ISBN: 978-1-84682-571-2. 445 pp. Publisher’s letter confirming publication status enclosed.
    2008. Ed. Government, War and Society in Medieval Ireland: Essays by Edmund Curtis, A.J. Otway-Ruthven and James Lydon. Dublin: Four Courts Press. ISBN: 978-1-84682-105-9. 407 pp.

    Articles

    2017. ‘The Structure of Politics in Theory and Practice: Colonial Ireland, 1210–1541’, in Brendan Smith (ed.), The Cambridge History of Ireland, vol. I: 1000–1550. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (13,475 words.)
    2017. ‘Comital Ireland, 1333–1534’, in David Crouch and Hugh Doherty (eds.), The Earl in Medieval Britain. Woodbridge: Boydell Press. (18,603 words.)
    2016. (with David Green and W. Mark Ormrod), ‘The Plantagenets and Empire in the Late Middle Ages’, in Peter Crooks, David Green and W. Mark Ormrod, The Plantagenet Empire, 1259–1453, pp 1–34. Donnington: Shaun Tyas.
    2016. ‘The Ascent and Descent of Desmond under Lancaster and York’, in Peter Crooks and Seán Duffy (eds), The Geraldines and Medieval Ireland: The Making of a Myth, pp 233–63. Dublin, Four Courts Press.
    2016. ‘Before Humpty Dumpty: The First English Empire and the Brittleness of Bureaucracy, 1259–1453’ in Peter Crooks and Timothy H. Parsons (eds.), Empires and Bureaucracy in World History: From Late Antiquity to the Twentieth Century, pp 250–87. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    2016. (with Timothy H. Parsons) ‘Empires, Bureaucracy, and the Paradox of Power’, in Peter Crooks and Timothy H. Parsons (eds.), Empires and Bureaucracy in World History: From Late Antiquity to the Twentieth Century, pp 1–28. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    2013. ‘James the Usurper and the Origins of the Talbot–Ormond feud’, in Seán Duffy (ed.), Princes, Prelates and Poets in Medieval Ireland: Essays in Honour of Katharine Simms, pp 159–84. Dublin: Four Courts Press.
    2013. ‘Reconstructing the Past: The Case of the Medieval Irish Chancery Rolls’, in N.M. Dawson and Felix Larkin (eds.), Lawyers, the Law and History: Irish Legal History Society Discourses and Other Papers, 2006–2011, pp 281—309. Dublin: Four Courts Press.
    2012. ‘Constructing a “Laboratory for Empire”: Colonial Ireland from the Statute of Kilkenny to Poynings Law’, SHISO [Japanese Intellectual Journal], no. 1063, pp 9–43.
    2011. ‘State of the Union: Perspectives on English Imperialism in the Late Middle Ages’, Past and Present: A Journal of Historical Studies, no. 211, pp 1–40.
    2010. ‘Representation and Dissent: “Parliamentarianism” and he Structure of Politics in Colonial Ireland, c.1370–1420’, The English Historical Review, 125:512, pp 1–34.
    2010. Ed. ‘The Medieval Irish Town by A.J. Otway-Ruthven’, in Medieval Dublin X, pp 299–311.
    2009. ‘Medieval Ireland and the Wider World’, Studia Hibernica, 35, pp 167–86.
    2009. ‘Negotiating Authority in a Colonial Capital: Dublin and the Windsor Crisis, 1369–78’, in Medieval Dublin IX, pp 131–51.
    2008. ‘The Lecky Professors’, in Peter Crooks (ed.), Government, War and Society in Medieval Ireland: Essays by Edmund Curtis, A.J. Otway-Ruthven and James Lydon, pp 23–53. Dublin: Four Courts Press.
    2008. ‘Government, War and Society in Medieval Ireland: A Guide to Recent Work’, in Peter Crooks (ed.), Government, War and Society in Medieval Ireland: Essays by Edmund Curtis, A.J. Otway-Ruthven and James Lydon, pp 353–75. Dublin: Four Courts Press.
    2008. ‘The “Calculus of Faction” and Richard II’s Duchy of Ireland, c.1382–9’, in Fourteenth Century England V, pp 94–115
    2007b. ‘The Arrest of Sir Christopher Preston and the Fifth Earl of Kildare in 1418: A Missing Membrane’, Analecta Hibernica, no. 40, pp 1–15.
    2007a. ‘Factions, Feuds and Noble Power in the Lordship of Ireland, c.1356–1496’, Irish Historical Studies, 35:140, 425–54.
    2005b. ‘ “Hobbes”, “Dogs” and Politics in the Ireland of Lionel of Antwerp, c.1361–6’ [The Denis Bethell Memorial Prize Essay], The Haskins Society Journal: Studies in Medieval History, 16, pp 117–48.
    2005a. ‘Divide and Rule: Factionalism as Royal Policy in the Lordship of Ireland, 1171–1265’, Peritia: The Journal of the Medieval Academy of Ireland, 19, pp 263–307.

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