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Professor Mark Knights

Mark Knights  

Contact Information

Room: H309
Tel: 024 76574690

Office Hours: Tuesday 11-12, Thursdays 12-1

and at other times by appointment

Click here to read my blog about Corruption past and present

Academic Profile

  • PhD (1990) Oxford University
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Member of the Editorial Board of Parliamentary History
  • Project Champion for the JISC funded Virtual Research Environment for the History of Political Discourse 1500-1800
  • Principal Investigator for a British Academy funded project to explore words and concepts in early modern Britain
  • Principal Investigator for an AHRC-funded Early Modern Forum for Early Modern Studies, which links Warwick with international partners such as Yale, The Sorbonne, Vanderbilt, Boston, The Huntington Library and USC.

I have recently appeared in a number of TV programmes, including Who Do You Think You Are?

Undergraduate Modules Currently Taught
Modules Taught in the Past
  • Making History (HI175)
  • The Enlightenment (HI174)
  • Georgian Britain (HI284)
Postgraduate Modules Taught
  • I convene the early modern pathway through the MA. For details click here.
  • In 2012 I was voted 'Best Postgraduate Tutor' by students - nominations for their 'Stars of Warwick' came from across the whole University
  • In the past I have taught 'Corruption: Concept and Practice in Britain and its Empire, c.1600-1835' (HI979)
Selected Publications
  • The Devil in Disguise: Delusion, Deception and Fanaticism in the Early English Enlightenment (OUP, 2011). For details click here
  • Representation and Misrepresentation in Later Stuart Britain: Partisanship and Political Culture (OUP, 2005 hardback, 2006 paperback)
  • The Entring Book of Roger Morrice 1677-1691 vol 5 (Boydell and Brewer, 6 vols, vol. 6 2007)
  • many entries in The House of Commons 1690-1715 (eds. Hayton, Cruickshanks and Handley, CUP 2002)
  • Politics and Opinion in Crisis, 1678-1681 (CUP, 1994)

I work on the political culture of early modern Britain and its empire c.1550 - c.1850, with particular interests in the history of corruption in Britain and its empire; the integration of political and social history; the nature of public discourse; the role of print; and the interaction of politics, literature and ideas. For recent publications please see research. I am currently researching:

  • Corruption in Britain and its colonies, from the Reformation to Reform
  • Officeholding and accountability
  • The history of early modern words and concepts - for more details about the project see
  • Early modern petitioning
  • The life and works of James Boevey, merchant philosopher
  • The memoirs of an early eighteenth century rake

I am also currently leading a project to create a collective biography of Coventry - details here - seeking to explore how to create historical memory when much of the material culture of the city was destroyed during the war and recording the lives of people currently living there, to explore their own memories and hopes for a city in transition.

Current Research Topics Supervised (PhD)
  • Gareth Davies: Marriage strategies in the long Eighteenth Century
  • Edward Taylor: Opinion Periodicals in Later Stuart Britain
  • Martyn Cutmore: Samuel Clarke, the History of Emotions and the Affective Culture of Puritanism
  • Hannah Whitfield: The Development of Public Law in early Seventeenth Century England and America
  • David Fletcher (jointly with David Taylor, English): Religion on the Restoration Stage
  • Chris Hunt: A Social and Cultural History of Colour in Early Modern Britain
  • Recently completed:
    • Jake Halford: Dialogues in seventeenth and early eighteenth century Britain
    • Han Zhao: The emotion of Shame 1650-1750
    • Naomi Wood: Quaker women and everyday life in Britain and New England
    • Dave Hitchcock: Vagrancy in England 1650-1750
    • David Beck: Natural Histories
    • Cherry Ann Knott: The building of Sudbury Hall
    • Numerous MA disseratations on aspects of early modern history, including 'the self in the eighteenth century', 'the eighteenth century rogue', 'early modern counsel', 'the political discourse of immigration' and 'early modern iconoclasm'.