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Lecturer in English, University of Exeter

I specialise in eighteenth-century and Romantic period literature and am the author of Sympathy and India in British Literature 1770-1830 (Palgrave Macmillan). My research explores the moral imagination's role in shaping literary cultures and communiities, both in the context of Britain and its overseas empire. My current project, "Romanticism and the Culture of Charity", draws on his experience at the Charity Commission, where he worked before joining Exeter.

My research interests lie broadly in eighteenth-century and Romantic period literature, especially Romantic Orientalism and the writings of Sir William Jones and his circle. My monograph, Sympathy and India in British Literature, 1770-1830, published in the Palgrave Studies in the Enlightenment, Romanticism and the Cultures of Print series in 2011, explores writing on India specifically in the context of imaginative sympathy and its power to facilitate, and indeed complicate and subvert, imaginative transactions between different peoples and cultures. The book examines the work of Edmund Burke, Jones, Elizabeth Hamilton, Charles Maturin, Robert Southey and Thomas Moore amongst others.

Corresponding to this, I am interested in theories of imaginative sympathy, emotion and affect as they manifest themselves in the literature of the period. My work explores the influence of writers and thinkers associated with the Scottish Enlightenment on British Romanticism as a whole and in particular in relation to expressive poetry.

I have additional interests in the popular print culture and visual arts of the eighteenth century and Romantic period, as well as the poetry of Robert Bloomfield,and, turning to more recent times, the writings of Frederick Rolfe, Evelyn Waugh, Francis Yeats Brown and Bruce Chatwin.


  • –present
    Lecturer in English, University of Exeter