Personal profile


Matthew developed an interest in British history as an undergraduate at York and as postgraduate and ESRC postdoctoral fellow at Manchester. His PhD on the idea of ‘independence’ in Georgian England started out as a study in political culture, but increasingly became focused on issues of gender as he tried to understand the role of masculinity in debates about citizenship.

Matthew arrived in Northampton in 2004 and is now Professor of History and Head of the Graduate School. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Higher Education Academy. He is currently Vice President of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Research Interests

Matthew built on his doctoral work by focusing upon the wider relationships between politics, war and masculinity in modern Britain. His first book, The Independent Man, explored the ways in which political and personal freedom were conceived of in terms of ‘manly independence’, particularly in relation to the vote. He examined this further in a textbook, Citizenship and Gender in Britain, 1688-1928.

Matthew has also worked on the social and cultural history of the military in the long eighteenth century. He explored the themes of gender and citizen soldiering in Embodying the Militia in Georgian England. More recently, he has focused on material culture, thinking about shoes in relation to masculinity and the body.

He edited Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies (2015-20) and sits on the Council of the Northamptonshire Record Society.


Ruth Barton; History

Comfort in the country house

Kerry Love; History

Political literature in Georgian Britain

Kathrina Perry; History

Philanthropy in the Northampton boot and shoe industry

Martyn Green; History

Motivations of Volunteers in Napoleonic Britain

Teaching Interests

Matthew teaches on a range of modules relating to his research on British history:

  • Themes and Perspectives in History
  • Citizenship and Gender in Britain, 1760-1918
  • Narrating the Nation: Rethinking Modern British History
  • MA History Research Methods


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