Interests include Victorian and Irish literature, religion and society, and biblical and classical influences on English literature. My published work, particularly my books The Victorians and Ancient Rome (1997) and Irish Literature since 1800 (2002), is mainly literary history. My most recent book, Bible and Novel: Narrative Authority and the Death of God (2013) is about connections between the perceived loss of Biblical authority and the development of Victorian and post-Victorian fiction in an increasingly secular society. With Jennifer Wallace I have edited the fourth volume (1790-1880) of the Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature (2015). I have recently written about the intellectual world of the Dissenting Academies after the French Revolution for the multi-authored History of the Dissenting Academies. The main current research projects are a literary biography of the Ulster dramatist and man of letters St John Ervine and an exploration of the variety and development of Irish intellectual and cultural aristocracies from the seventeenth century to the present.