After completing my BA and MA in English Literature with Psychology, Philosophy, History and Sociology of Education at the University of Cambridge, I took some time out to start my family. Whilst being at home with my three young children I continued my research in Romantic and Victorian Literature before beginning a part-time PhD at Christmas 2012. With my youngest daughter beginning school in September 2014 I have now moved to full-time.
I am concerned with the Romantic and Victorian periods of English literature, and particularly how these nomenclatures can be surpassed and re-configured. Principally I am interested in the chronology and social position of the female novelist from the late eighteenth century through to the domesticated novel of the later Victorian age. Covering women writers from Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Robinson through Mary Shelley and Jane Austen to the Brontë sisters and Elizabeth Gaskell, I am also focused upon the juxtaposition of these female writers in position with the male poets they associated with in writing circles. Much of my research covers Romantic poets Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron, whilst also involving the lesser studied figure of poet Branwell Brontë.
Alongside the works of these writers, I am very interested in the association of their poetry and novels with their published image in biography, their positions as editor to their own lives and works or involvement with connected writers in their coterie.
PhD (full-time) - currently registered
Mary and Percy Shelley and the Bronte Juvenilia.
In the extensive field of Brontë studies, only limited attention has been paid to their engagement with and knowledge of Percy and Mary Shelley, with no sustained examination of a specific Shelleyean impact on their work. My thesis proposes to bring together what are currently a small number of fragmented references, alongside my own original archival research into the area, to argue for a Shelleyean aspect within the Brontës' juvenilia, offering a repositioning of the Brontë sisters as women novelists.
Through detailed analysis of contemporary print culture, my work aims to establish a textual presence in the early and mid-nineteenth-century of the lives and works of the Shelleys, especially of Mary Shelley as a fellow female novelist. Via a re-examination of the Brontës' adolescent reading, I will provide evidence for their likely familiarity with what I loosely term the 'textual Shelleys.'
- The Bronte coterie.
- The Romantic Poets
- Romantic and Victorian Women writers.
- Nineteenth Century Biography.
Research Institutes, Centres and/or Research Clusters Memberships
- The Bronte Society
- Romantic Heirs Research Network
- Portraits of Byron and Shelley in Bronte Angria.
- The implication of art work and portraiture upon the edit and suppression of the Brontes.
- Mary 'Perdita' Robinson and Mary Shelley - A figure of example and fiction.
- Disseminating the trio - Structuring the collaborative work of the Bronte sisters.
- A Byronic myth - Establishing the Bronte Shelleyean hero.
- Characterizing the lost novel of Emily Bronte.