Hello, I'm Pete Orford and I am a lecturer in English Literature at the University of Buckingham. My specialisms are Shakespeare and Dickens. I completed my PhD at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2006; my thesis looked at Shakespeare's history plays and to what extent they work as a connected whole or individual dramas. I got out of my PhD with a strong desire to write on something different, so wrote an article on Dickens, which led into an unexpected spiral of Dickensian research and publications. Just when I was thinking I'd taken a PhD-tour (I'm here all week folks), I got a job teaching Shakespeare and the Renaissance. Now I teach Shakespeare by day, research Dickens by night: my academic career is essentially based on the plot of a West End farce, culminating in an awkward restaurant scene where I attempt to have two dinners simultaneously with Shakespeare and Dickens without either of them realising.
I'm mostly known, of late, for my work in Digital Dickens, namely several online reading projects culminating in the Drood Inquiry (www.droodinquiry.com ), an interactive exploration of Dickens' last, unfinished novel. The site got quite a bit of media attention. It spawned a conference and an exhibition at the Charles Dickens Museum in London. A book is in progress.
When not teaching I spend most of my days as a stay-at-home Dad. I have three kids, two at school and one just crawling. I have not read Shakespeare or Dickens to them for bedtime stories - yet