A leading authority on history of the British Isles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, on ancient and medieval paganism and magic, and on the global context of witchcraft beliefs. Also the leading historian of the ritual year in Britain and of modern paganism. He is a member of the ‘Medieval and Early Modern Cluster’ at Bristol.
“The concept of the greenwood has operated powerfully in the British imagination for hundreds of years, first as one with associations of wildness and menace on the one hand and of freedom, beauty and sanctuary on the other. In modern times, the former, negative, connotations have vanished and only the positive group remained. Particular trees, such as the yew, have become the foci for special affections. This talk is designed to investigate the actual history of British woodlands, and of individual trees, and to explore the role that they have played in lives and emotions over the millennia.”