I am a social historian, with a particular interest in food and cities. 

My PhD and early research focused on the buying and selling of food in Europe’s fast-growing cities between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. I considered how street vendors and other retailers traded, how their business was regulated, how they were represented in metropolitan culture, and what this all might tell us about the way great centres like London and Naples expanded and transformed. In my book, Street Food, I take a longer view, looking at the importance of hawkers to the history of England’s capital up to the early twentieth century. I have also written on the food histories of immigrants to London, such as French Huguenots and Sephardic Jews.

As part of the ERC-funded FoodCult project, I am using household accounts, alongside other surviving evidence, to examine the cultural significance of food consumption in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Ireland. The project embraces techniques from other disciplines, including archaeological science and zooarchaeology, as well as experimental approaches like re-creating historical beer.  

Publications:

Street Food: Hawkers and the History of London (forthcoming, OUP, 2022)

‘Licensing the informal economy in early modern Europe: food hawkers in London and Naples’, London Journal (forthcoming)

‘Moral marketplaces: regulating food markets in late Elizabethan and early Stuart London’, Urban History 48:4 (2021), pp 608–624, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0963926820000450

‘Consider the oyster seller: street hawkers and gendered stereotypes in early modern London’, History Workshop Journal 88 (2019), pp. 1–23, https://doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbz032