I was educated at the Universities of Cambridge and Copenhagen, and held posts at Stockholm, Glasgow and Lampeter before becoming Head of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy at Cardiff University in 1988, where I was also Pro Vice-Chancellor 1992-96.
My principal research interests have been Victorian, and I am best known for work on fiction, especially Anthony Trollope, for whose collected novels, published by the Trollope Society in forty-eight volumes, I was general editor. When working on the illustrations accompanying the fiction I studies, I developed a more systematic interest in literary illustration, and have now taken part in six externally funded projects in partnership with Professor Julia Thomas. Since 1980 I have also written on the art and literature of London, and in recent years on Guvtav Doré's vision of London.
Much of my research into Trollope is now done in collaboration with the Catholic University of Leuven, under an inter-university agreement, and includes work on remediation of his fiction..