I was born on the same day as Rome, just 2720 years later, and raised on the prairies of western Canada. After leaving high school without much distinction or direction, I worked a series of eye-opening jobs before being given a place at the University of Saskatchewan. Four years of study in History and Modern Languages led to B.A. in 1991 and two years later an M.A. in Modern History with a curious specialization in late Tsarist Russia.
Fate was smiling on me when I was then offered a place to study yet more History at the University of Cambridge, matriculating at Trinity Hall college in 1994, and concluding four years of research with a doctorate on rural insurgency during the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Instead of pursuing a career in academia, however, I chose to remain in eastern Europe, specifically Kyiv, Ukraine, where I took up positions broadly related to the literary field.
Then, while preparing lectures for a History course I was teaching, I fashioned an idea about a poor English squire living during the lively High Middle Ages – Geoffrey Hotspur.