I am the 1596 Foundation Fellow and I teach early modern literature, Shakespeare, and medieval literature for the college; my research looks broadly at literature and the history of the book in the early modern period, and recent books include a biography of the greatest book collector of the sixteenth century (who also happens to be the illegitimate child of Christopher Columbus), as well as a co-authored study of his library's contents, contexts organization and legacy, and another book on archives and globalization in the sixteenth century. I am currently on leave as a Guggenheim Fellow and working on another book on global culture in the Renaissance. 

I also help to organize the College's 'Sidney Greats Lecture Series', which provides introductions to great texts, ideas, and figures for members of the College. The lectures are available to the public as podcasts, which can be accessed here.

Publications, Links and Resources


General Editor, with Matthew Driscoll, José María Pérez Fernández, and Paul White, of a 2.1M word edition, translation and study of Hernando Colón's 'Libro de los Epitomes', a repository of knowledge about books from a lost sixteenth-century library. Under contract with Oxford University Press.


A HISTORY OF WATER, being an account of a murder, an epic, and two visions of global history (William Collins, 2022). Available or forthcoming in Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Korean and Ukranian translations. 

with José María Pérez Fernández, Hernando Colón's New World of Books: Towards a Cartography of Knowledge (Yale University Press, 2021).

The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books: Young Columbus and the Quest for a Universal Library (William Collins, May 2018; Scribner, March 2019). Published or forthcoming in ten translations.

Shakespeare in Swahililand (William Collins--UK & Commonwealth, 2016; Farrar, Straus & Giroux--USA, 2016; Random House/btb--Germany, 2019). Order at Amazon.

ed., with José María Pérez Fernández, Translation and the Book Trade in Early Modern Europe (CUP, 2014). 'Introduction' (co-written with José María Pérez Fernández), and chapter ('Glosses and Oracles: Translating the Reader in Early Modern Europe'). Buy from CUP or Amazon.


"Killing the Messenger: Diplomatic Translators in late Elizabethan Culture", forthcoming in a special issue of the Huntington Library Quarterly, ed. Joanna Craigwood and Tracey Sowerby, 2020.

'Women's Weapons: Country House Diplomacy and the Countess of Pembroke's French Translations' in Rowan Tomlinson and Tania Demetriou, eds, The Culture of Translation in Early Modern England and France (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

"Shakespeare by Numbers: Mathematical Crisis in Troilus and Cressida", Shakespeare Quarterly (Winter 2013) Read Online

“William Birch”, “William Howell”, “Thomas Tusser”, in The Blackwell Encyclopedia of English Renaissance Literature, ed. Alan Stewart and Garrett Sullivan (2012) Read Online

"The Bull and the Moon: Broadside Ballads and the Public Sphere at the Time of the Northern Rising (1569-70)" (Review of English Studies, 2011) Read Online

“‘The Subtle Tree’: Idolatry and Material Memory in Surrey’s Aeneid” (Translation and Literature, July 2011) Read Online 

“Romance and Resistance: Narratives of Chivalry in Mid-Tudor England”, Renaissance Studies 24/4 (September 2010), pp. 482-495. Read Online

“New biographical information on the author of 'A Continuation of Sir Philip Sidney’s Arcadia'”, Sidney Journal 26/1 (2008), pp. 57-64

“A Continuation of Sir Philip Sidney’s Arcadia” and “The knight of Curtesy and the Lady of Faguell”, introd. for EEBO Introductions, Early English Books Online