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I came to King’s in September 2007 from Oxford University where I was Professor of Victorian Literature and Fellow of Linacre College, having previously taught at the Universities of Cork and Exeter, and Birkbeck, University of London.

Research Interests and PhD Supervision

My work mainly concerns later 18th and 19th century British literature and culture.  I have written monographs on Thomas De Quincey (De Quincey’s Disciplines [1994]), George Eliot (George Eliot [1997]), and on the figurations of child murder in British culture in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (Child Murder and British Culture, 1720-1900 [2003]). My revised edition of Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was published in Oxford University Press’s ‘Worlds Classics’ series in 2008.  The OUP website hosts an audio guide to The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in which I introduce the novel.

I have co-edited volumes of essays on gender politics (Political Gender: Texts and Contexts [1994]), literature and science (Encounters: Transactions between Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century [2002]) , and most recently, with Colin Jones and Jon Mee, an interdisciplinary volume on Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities and the French Revolution (Charles Dickens and the French Revolution

[2009]). My current work is on literature and the culture of migration in the nineteenth century (see below).  In addition, from 2009-11, I am leading a Leverhulme funded International Network on Commodities and Culture in the Colonial World, 1851-1914.

I would be interested in hearing from any prospective research students who would like to work on literary and interdisciplinary topics in the later eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, especially in areas that relate to my current and published work.

For more details, please see my full research profile.


I teach modules on nineteenth-century literature at BA and MA level, including ‘Victorians and Social Change’, ‘Romanticism, Revolution and Representation’, ‘Memory and Time’, ‘Text, Theory and Culture: London, 1850 to the Present’, ‘Literature in a Time of Migration’ and ‘Modernity and the City’.

Expertise and Public Engagement

Other research activities include the interdisciplinary Malthus Reading Group which I helped to set up with colleagues from literature and history in King’s and other institutions, and the Shows of London Research Group.