I teach literature at the University of Liverpool and I enjoy writing about many kinds of art – from gardens, churches and Anglo-Saxon elegies to landscape watercolours and contemporary non-fiction. Most of my work has been connected with modern British painting and (especially) Virginia Woolf. Most of all, I love reading.
My new book is called Weatherland: Writers and Artists under English Skies. It’s an exploration of imaginative responses to the weather in England across centuries. I wanted to lie on the grass and watch the sky with Chaucer, with Milton, with Turner.
My first book, Romantic Moderns (2010) traced connections between some of the most brilliant artists and writers of the twentieth century, including Virginia Woolf, John Piper, Bill Brandt, Eric Ravilious, Rex Whistler, and the Sitwells. I've also written an introduction to Virginia Woolf and edited (with Lara Feigel) a collection of essays about modern art and the seaside.