School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr Barbara Gribling

Research Associate


PhD, Modern British History, University of York

MA, History, McMaster University

BA (Hons.), History, University of British Columbia

Barbara arrived in Newcastle in January 2019. She has previously taught at the universities of York and St Andrews and has held research fellowships at Tel Aviv University and Durham University. Her research explores the uses of the past, heritage and childhood in British culture and society from the eighteenth to the mid twentieth century. She examines the reinvention of historical heroes, such as the Black Prince, and investigates children and their consumption of history and heritage. Her research involves working with a wide range of print media including children's books, histories, letters, memoirs, diaries, guidebooks, pageant scripts, toys and games.


Barbara's work has explored how the medieval past was reworked for child and adult audiences in eighteenth and nineteenth century print media (literature, histories) and in visual and material culture. She has written a book on the image of the medieval hero, Edward the Black Prince, in Georgian and Victorian England (2017) and co-edited a collection on Chivalry and the Medieval Past (2016), to which she contributed a chapter on the 'Dark Side of Chivalry'. Through this work, she became interested in the different uses and contested nature of the medieval past, exploring the interplay between royal and popular culture.

This work led to new research interests in everyday experiences with British history and heritage from 1750 to 1914, especially childhood experiences. She has explored child visitors to Madame Tussaud's and children's educational toys and games. She is currently co-editing a book on Pasts at Play: Childhood Encounters with History in British Culture, 1750-1914 (under contract, MUP). Her current work lays the foundation for a planned monograph on children's encounters with the medieval past from 1750-1939, as seen through exhibitions, visits to heritage sites, theatre, pageants, books, toys and games.

At Newcastle, Barbara will build on her previous work to investigate the early story of children's engagement with built heritage in Britain from the eighteenth century to the end of the Second World War in children's literature and culture.