I grew up in York and went on to read English at St John's College, Oxford. Since leaving university, I’ve divided my time between teaching, travelling and writing. Whenever possible, I’ve combined at least two of the three by teaching abroad and writing books about travel.
After two years in France as a lecturer at the University of Provence, I took a permanent job teaching English literature at the University of Sussex. Apart from spells in the USA and Japan, I was based there until 2005 when I went back to Asia to teach at universities in Tokyo and Bangkok.
Over the past few years I've been living in England with my wife and daughter (pictured with me above) and escaping as often as possible to Kyoto, where we have a small house near Shinnyodo temple.
The Writings of Evelyn Waugh (Blackwell, 1983)
Paris: A Literary Companion (John Murray, 1987, reissued by Penguin, 2001)
Venice: A Literary Companion (John Murray, 1991, reissued by Penguin, 2001)
Paris: Architecture, History, Art (George Philip, 1992)
The Idea of Japan: Western Images, Western Myths (Secker & Warburg, 1996, translated into Swedish and Japanese)
Sultry Climates: Travel and Sex since the Grand Tour (John Murray, 2001, translated into Italian)
The Rough Guide History of France (Penguin / Rough Guides, 2002)
The Literature Student’s Survival Kit (Blackwell, 2006)
You can read extracts by clicking on Books.