My research interests are the concept of childhood in the Romantic period, and the concept of the 'boy-man' in the long nineteenth century. My work engages with the idea of the 'Romantic Child', the reception of Romantic writings upon childhood in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, the history of the concept of childhood, the politics of Romantic-era education, children's fantasy literature and fairytales, the metaphysics and theology of Romantic childhood, and the relationship between Romanticism and child-psychology/psychoanalytic theory.
In particular I focus upon the lives and writings of William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, William Blake, Charles Lamb, John Keats, Thomas De Quincey, Leigh Hunt, Hartley Coleridge, and Benjamin Robert Haydon. I am also concerned with the works of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century educational theorists and practitioners, especially John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Day, Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Maria Edgeworth, Anna Letitia Barbauld, Harriet Martineau, Hannah More and Sarah Trimmer.
I am currently researching and writing a monograph for publication with Palgrave MacMillan for The History of Childhood series (eds. George Rousseau and Laurence Brockliss) to be titled The Boy-Man: Immaturity, Creativity and Masculinity in the Long Nineteenth Century (2015). This explores a chronology from the mid eighteenth century to the Edwardian era. In particular this will engage with Lawrence Sterne, Thomas Chatterton, Charles Lamb, Leigh Hunt, Thomas De Quincey, Hartley Coleridge, John Keats, Benjamin Robert Haydon, Thomas Hood, Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin, Charles Kingsley, Thomas Hughes, Charles Dickens, Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, and J.M. Barrie (among many others). This study will explore the relationship of childishness and immaturity to literary identity and canonical exclusion.