I've always been enthralled by curious places and mad stories. I found them in fantasy first, then I discovered history. So I took a BA from Trinity College, Dublin, and an MPhil from Cambridge University. Still not sated, I'm currently researching there for my PhD, exploring the senses, material culture, and cross-cultural interactions between Islam and England in the early modern world. Aside from books and manuscripts, my thrill is London and travel, feeling those great colourful expanses and claustrophobic alleys, where history comes alive.
In these audio viewpoints, I'm talking about London at its most explosive: stinking of booze, twitching with coffee, lusty with chocolate and bursting with bustle. A host of London’s 17th- and 18th-century coffeehouses, regarded as the engines of English politics and literature, but also with deep links to the Ottoman Empire and the global sugar trade. Aphrodisiacal chocolate houses that gave way to exclusive clubs. Taverns with blood-soaked tales. Bland buildings belying strange societies and many other hidden histories. London overflowing with flavour and entangled with the world.