Exhibition essay for the British Library

In support of the British Library’s 2016-17 maps exhibition, Drawing the Line, an essay featuring maps from the Library’s India Office Records, examining the role maps played in oil exploration in the Middle East, from the West’s early work in the region at the beginning of the twentieth century until today.

The essay can be found online here:

Oil maps of the Middle East



Msheireb Museums

Research and curatorial work, carried out while working at heritage consultancy Barker Langham, for a suite of four museums located in a large-scale development in the Qatar capital Doha. The museums, housed in some of the city’s oldest traditional houses, focus on various aspects of Qatar’s history.

Bin Jelmood House

A museum dedicated both to the history of slavery in the Middle East and Africa, and to the forms of modern slavery that continue in the region today. Developed under the guidance of a panel of the world’s foremost academic experts on the subject, the museum is the first of its type in the region.

Press for Bin Jelmood House:

Company House

Based in the house that formerly served as headquarters for British Petroleum’s oil operations in Qatar in the 1930s, the museum recognised the efforts of Qataris involved in the earliest days of the country’s petroleum industry.

Mohammed Bin Jassim House

Occupying a site that was formerly the home of one of Doha’s most preeminent sheikhs, the museum tells the story of the city’s historical development. Many of its exhibits were salvaged from the city’s old quarter prior to its redevelopment, evoking personal stories from the city’s lost past.

Radwani House

One of Doha’s oldest family houses, the museum’s rooms contain reconstructed scenes of domestic life in the 1950s, a key moment in Qatar’s history, when the country was on the cusp of dramatic social and technological transformation, brought about by the discovery of petroleum.

In the Jungle of Cities

Essays on urban culture, with an occasionally indulgent emphasis on Berlin. The texts reflect my ongoing preoccupation with lost urban spaces, in particular the passages, dioramas, panoramas, museums and streets, that have been irretrievably lost in time.

Recent posts:

Essays for the British Library’s Untold Lives

Short essays for the British Library’s popular Untold Lives blog. The essays are based on archival documents from the India Office Records, which are held at the British Library. The essays tend to focus on not-widely-known or forgotten moments from Britain’s age of empire, and range from the inappropriately comic to the unequivocally tragic.

Recent essays:

Essays for the Qatar Digital Library

Short essays written for an expanding resource of digitised archival materials that document the history of the Persian Gulf region. The essays cover a gamut of subjects, including the lives of slaves in the nineteenth century, British imperialism in the Gulf, travel and communication, maritime trade, pearl diving, the discovery of oil, and more.

Selected essays:

The Thousand Year Rose of Hildesheim

An historical novel, set on the eve of the Second World War; both a paean and lament to Germany’s great historic cities.

I am actively seeking an agent for my novel, so if you are an agent and are interested, please get in touch.

More information on The Thousand Year Rose of Hildesheim will be posted here in due course.