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Emma Butcher studied English at the Universities of Brunel and Hull before becoming a Leverhulme postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leicester. She has taught at the University of Lincoln, Manchester Metropolitan University and Edge Hill University, before joining King’s in 2021.

Her first monograph, The Brontës and War, was published by Palgrave in 2020. Emma is currently writing her second monograph, titled Children in the Age of Modern War, contracted to Oxford University Press.

Research interests and PhD supervision


  • Nineteenth-century literature and culture
  • War literature (empire)
  • Child writers/children’s literature
  • Pre-discourse understandings of trauma
  • The Brontës


Selected publications

“War Trauma and Alcoholism in the Early Writings of Charlotte and Branwell Brontë”, Journal of Victorian Culture (2017)

The Brontës and War (London: Palgrave, 2020)

“War and the Child’s Gaze in Revolutionary and Napoleonic Culture”, Critical Military Studies (2021)

Children in the Age of Modern War: 1789-1970 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming)



I teach a variety of modules relating to the nineteenth century, on topics ranging from literature and science to technology and reproduction, the grotesque, and nineteenth-century travel writing.


Expertise and public engagement

In 2017, I was named as a BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker, and have since gone on appear regularly on both radio and television, such as BBC2, BBC Radio 3, Channel 5 and The Times radio. I have also written for BBC History Magazine, History Today, The Guardian and the Time Literary Supplement.

In 2015, I co-curated the Brontë Parsonage’s exhibition, ‘The Brontës, War and Waterloo’. This has led on to a sustained collaborative relationship with the museum, where I have partnered with notable poets such as Simon Armitage, and given numerous public talks.