School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Victorian Literature

Victorian Literature

We are a dynamic team of interdisciplinary researchers whose work explores Victorian literature in intellectual, material and formal contexts within and beyond the borders of Great Britain.

Particular specialisms include: questions of faith and religion in poetry and the novel; industry and the idea of progress; Empire; the Anglo-American periodical in high and popular culture; book history; slavery and abolitionism; the travelogue; the politics of the child and children's literature; radicalism; genealogies of feminism and economics; Victorian poetry; the Victorian novel; the visual arts.

Dr Martin Dubois works on Victorian poetry, especially Hopkins and William Barnes, and on nonsense writing. He is currently completing a monograph on Hopkins' poetry of religious experience. He has also published articles on John Ruskin and George MacDonald. Hopkins scholarship is an area of particular expertise at Newcastle.

Professor Robert (Kelsey) Thornton is one of the editors of the new Collected Works of Hopkins appearing from Oxford University Press. His edition of Hopkins's correspondence (co-edited with Catherine Phillips) appeared in 2013, and he is currently working on Volume VI of the Collected Works, Sketches, Notes, and Studies. Together with Martin Dubois he organised an international conference, 'Hopkins' Audiences' in April 2014. Kelsey has also recently published the selected works of the local miner and Victorian 'Pitman Poet', Joseph Skipsey.

Dr Ella Dzelzainis is completing a monograph, Commerce Between the Sexes: Feminism and Political Economy in Industrial Fiction, 1832-1855 which discusses the industrial novels and stories of writers such as Gaskell, Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, Kingsley and Martineau. She is also interested in the transatlantic politics of manners.

Dr Robert McLaughlan's recent book, Re-imagining the Dark Continent in fin de siècle Literature (2013), brings together cartography, missionary magazines and psychic phenomena to open up the 'dark continent' of Africa and its literary, cultural, ideological, historical and theoretical manifestations.

Dr Kirsten MacLeod similarly has research interests in the Victorian and Modernist periods, particularly the relationship between high and popular culture, periodical studies and book history, and transatlantic print culture. Her book, Fictions of British Decadence: High Art, Popular Literature and the fin de siècle, discusses British little magazines of the 1890s. Kirsten MacLeod's curator's talk on American little magazines of the same period at her recent exhibition at the Grolier Club (New York City).

Dr Fionnghuala Sweeney researches nineteenth-century American, African American and Caribbean literature and the visual arts, with a particular emphasis on issues such as slavery, Atlantic ethical culture, abolitionism, Atlantic travel writing and radical forms of self-emancipation. Her current project is on Ireland, slavery, anti-slavery, and empire, in collaboration with colleagues from the School of English and the Humanities Institute, UCD. Professor Kimberley Reynolds is a renowned expert on children's literature, particularly in the Victorian and Modern period.

19th-century and Victorian archives in Newcastle include the Special Collections in the University's Robinson Library, which has a major Nineteenth-Century Novel collection, and the Tyne and Wear Archives. We also work with the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society, which has extensive eighteenth and nineteenth-century holdings and is currently jointly hosting a School seminar series on Pseudo/Sciences of the Long Nineteenth Century.

Members of the Victorian team contribute to the taught MA in English Literature, 1500-1900. We have a strong reputation for the quality of our supervision on both our research Masters programme (the MLitt) and at doctoral level, and have been successful in securing AHRC funding for PhD students in recent years.