I’m Professor of Modern History at Oxford University. I grew up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne where I was educated at  state primary and comprehensive schools.

My first book, Young Women, Work, and Family in England, 1918-1950 , won the Women’s History Network Book Prize. It is about young working-class women’s lives at a time of enormous social upheaval.

My second book, The People: the Rise and Fall of the Working Class, 1910-2010 was published by John Murray in 2014 and quickly became a bestseller. It is now in paperback.

Tastes of Honey, my biography of the playwright Shelagh Delaney, was published in 2019 – more details here – and is now out in paperback.

Snakes and Ladders: the Great British Social Mobility Myth was published in 2021. It’s the story of social mobility since the late 19th century – who got on, who didn’t, and why equality is a better goal than meritocracy.

Liking the idea of a CV of failures as a riposte to workaholism, perfectionism and competitiveness I tried to post mine here – but it is way too long.