Jessica holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of St Andrews. Her research has won funding and prizes from the British Academy, the Society for Renaissance Studies, the Russell Trust and the University of St Andrews, among others. Her first book Between Popes, Inquisitors and Princes revealed how the first Jesuits collaborated with the Holy See and crowned heads of Europe, often undercover, to fight heresy after the Reformation. Jessica has since written on the political tumults and religious transformations of the early modern period for prestigious historical journals and well-loved magazines like History Today.
Jessica is currently writing a history of papal Rome, from Saint Peter to our own day, with a particular focus on the ostensibly ordinary people who have shaped the life and character of this extraordinary city.