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Dr Victoria Mills

Teaching Fellow in Nineteenth-Century Studies

Tel +44 (0)20 7848
Address Department of English and Comparative Literature
King's College London
Room 6.39, Virginia Woolf Building 
22 Kingsway
London WC2B 6LE

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Dr Vicky Mills studied Ancient and Modern History at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford before embarking on a career in the museum sector. She returned to study at Birkbeck, University of London where she completed an MA in Victorian Studies and a D.Phil on Victorian fiction and the cultures of collecting. As well as teaching at King’s she is a Research Fellow in English at Darwin College, Cambridge.

Research interests

My research focuses on the interplay between literature, visual and material culture in the nineteenth century. There are three main strands.

  • Victorian masculinity and the cultures of collecting. I am interested in the ways in which the collector became a new figure of the imagination in the nineteenth century and how narratives of collecting explore the contested arena of proper male behaviour.
  • Fiction, Illustration and the classical past

This strand of my research considers the substantial   contribution of illustrated antique novels to the visual and literary culture of Victorian Britain. I’m interested in how their cultural significance was expressed through the relationship between word and image.

The third strand focuses on the relationship between the arts and feeling in nineteenth-century literature and culture. As part of this, I have worked on two exhibitions. ‘Victorian Sentimentality’ at Tate Britain (2012) and ‘The Fallen Woman ‘, Foundling Museum (2015).                                 
Selected publications
  • ‘Photography, Travel Writing and Tactile Tourism: The Tauchnitz Edition of The Marble Faun’ in Murray, B. and Henes, M. (Eds.). Travel Writing, Visual Culture and Form 1760- (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2015),pp. 65-86.
  • ‘Bibliomania, the male body and sensory erotics in Victorian literature’, in Boehm, K. (ed.) Bodies and Things in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture, (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2012), pp. 130-152.
  • ‘”A long, sunny harvest of taste and curiosity”: Collecting, aesthetics and the female body in Henry James’s The Spoils of Poynton’, Women’s History Review, 18:4 (2009), 669-686.
  • ‘Victorian Fiction and the Material Imagination’ (ed. and introduction) 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, 6 (2008)

In 2015-16 I am teaching:

4AAE0205  Classical and Biblical Contexts of English Literature

6AAEC021 Memory and Time in the Nineteenth Century

Expertise and public engagement
I co-curated the display  ‘Victorian Sentimentality’ at Tate Britain in 2012 and was Exhibition Researcher on the recent  ‘Fallen Woman’ Exhibition at the Foundling Museum (2015). I give talks to museum audiences on a regular basis. In 2012, I organised an event for the Cambridge Festival of Ideas – ‘The Poetry of Things’, - which brought a general audience into conversation with four poets and two Professors of English over a recent poets in residence programme across Cambridge museums.









full research profile
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