Some Writing


"A Tassel to the Purse of Merit" - on Lord Byron and literary failure

"What Exile from himself can Flee" - on Byron and exile

"The Poet, the Physician and the Birth of the Modern Vampire" - an introduction to Polidori's The Vampyre

"Why Clowns Keep Scaring Us" - as if that wasn't obvious...

"The Zombie Apocalypse of Daniel Defoe" - on A Journal of the Plague Year

Intro to The Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi

"Almost Famous" - reflections on biography

"Boswell's Jubilee" - James Boswell celebrates Shakespeare while endeavoring to keep it in his pants

"Diets of the Romantic Poets" - Coleridge favored liquids, Shelley liked bark



"Split Personalities" - is it a condition of comic genius to always be wrestling with demons?

"Stage Light" - on set design, alchemy and occultism in the eighteenth century theater

"A Public Man" - on Byron and the corrosive effects of celebrity

"Clowns on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" - Charles Dickens is to blame for this whole scary clown thing


Some Audio

BBC Radio 4, December 2009 - Kenneth Cranham reads Grimaldi

A Video

Cold Snow Losers is a short documentary about the open-mic comedians of Buffalo, New York, produced for the International Society of Humor Studies conference, Dublin, July 2016 (contains rude words).