About my books

Writing is one of my strengths.  I enjoy shaping my thoughts and crafting the words to make my research accessible to different audiences.  Although I am now moving away from purely academic writing, my work has received very positive reviews so far. See below for book outlines and review extracts.

firebrand cover.jpg

This Great Firebrand: William Laud and Scotland 1617-1645

A book which uses the career of this explosive English archbishop to provide a new perspective on the coming of the British Civil Wars


The household accounts of William Laud, archbishop of Canterbury, 1635-1642

A book which brings to life the household and community at Lambeth Palace and sheds new light on early modern ecclesiastical power and politics

Castle Interior

Some reviews 


Here is a fine example of a biographical study that sheds new light on a well-known period of history.

James's closely argued monograph, which investigates William Laud's tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury and his Scottish policy, offers fresh perspectives on the British archipelago's seventeenth-century civil wars and Stuart government in the three kingdoms (Innes Review, Nov 2019)

This is a very well-written book and a timely revision of one of the main historical actors of the period.

James’s portrait reveals Laud’s unique position in overseeing ecclesiastical matters across the three kingdoms. In addition to being the great firebrand of the book’s title, Laud was adept at negotiating the largely unwritten rules of a composite monarchy. It is thanks to Dr James that we can now see the extent of his influence on the religious politics of the late 1630s. (English Historical Review, April 2019)

James’ account masterfully brings to life the role of Laud in Scottish affairs in the buildup to the civil wars.

By using sources that have hitherto been underutilized, James emphasizes the centrality of the archbishop to the chaotic affairs of the 1630s and 1640s. This not only shows the importance of the Three Kingdoms approach to the study of Stuart Britain, but also demonstrates just how essential religious policy was to the development of the wars. James’ work is thus a fundamental account of both Laud and Scotland that is a vital part of Caroline Britain historiography. (Reading Religion, Sept 2020)

Review of 'The household accounts'

James’s work is primarily intended for the academic expert who has an interest in Laudian studies or the religious history of the seventeenth century. However, because of her adroit editing and inclusion of contextual materials, any interested academic could approach this work and extract value from its contents.  At face value, this source may seem somewhat mundane, but a closer look reveals a deeper and wide-ranging significance for the study of the seventeenth century.  (Seventeenth Century News, August 2020)