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Alice Robinson

Alice Robinson

Doctoral Student in Literature.

Supervisors: Professor Michael Rossington, Dr Claire Stocks, Dr Anke Walter
Research Project Title: ‘The Vigorous Awakening Spring’: Rome in Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Writing.

Brief Outline of Research Project:

My research investigates how Latin literature inspires Percy Shelley’s writing, particularly how ancient Roman authors inform his philosophical and radical outlook on human society. In 1813, Percy Shelley published Queen Mab, a controversial poem about humankind’s wrongdoings throughout history and in the author’s present day. Queen Mab contains resonations of Lucretius, Pliny, and Horace, who aid Shelley’s construction of an innovative timeline in which a utopian future has undone all of humanity’s acts of transgression since the dawn of civilisation. My first chapter offers an original, in-depth analysis of this important intertext. My second and third chapters move forwards in time, to Italy, where Shelley wrote, among other works, Prometheus Unbound and The Cenci. In my current chapter on the former text, I am researching the influence of Lucan, poet of the Bellum Civile, analysing how this 65 CE anti-epic informs Shelley’s conceptualisation of generational cycles and tyrannical leadership. My fourth chapter then analyses Latin influences in The Triumph of Life, composed in 1822. I hope that my research will throw new light on previously unchartered intertextual moments between Shelley and his ancient Roman sources, and provide new avenues for researching the reception of Latin texts in the Romantic period more widely.

The Vigorous Awakening Spring’: Rome in Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Writing.

Research Interests:

  • Intertextuality
  • Classical Reception
  • Latin Language
  • The Long Eighteenth Centure
  • Eco-criticism

Research Activities:

Placements and Funding
My research is funded by a NBCDTP studentship (2019-2023). In January 2020 I was selected to attend a fully funded week-long research trip to the British School at Rome. I am planning a placement with Keats-Shelley House, Rome from mid-October to mid-December 2021.
2018: Recipient of the Junior Johnson Prize for outstanding academic performance.
2018: Recipient of the Eleanor Pinkney Oddie Scholarship for Latin. 
Conferences & Forum Presentations
October 2020: “Mapping Ancient Rome in Percy Shelley’s Writing”, The Middle Modern Group, Newcastle University.
November 2020: “’Her Unbound Hair’: Gendered Emotion in Shelley’s The Cenci and Seneca and Ovid’s Medea”, ‘Agency and Emotion’, Durham University.
December 2020: “Mapping Ancient Rome in Percy Shelley’s Writing”, SHCA Postgraduate Research Forum, Newcastle University.
Research Groups
The Middle Modern Group, SELLL, Newcastle University
Postgraduate Research Forum, SHCA, Newcastle University
British Association for Romantic Studies
Spring 2021: I am a seminar leader on modules SEL1004 (Introduction to Literary Studies II) and CLA1012 (Intermediate Latin Language and Literature).
Academic Background:
2015-2018: BA in Classical Studies and English, Newcastle University (First Class Honours)
2018-2019: MA in Classics, Newcastle University (Distinction)