After studying at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, up to the level of MA in English literature, she did her PhD in Canada, at the University of British Columbia. Later she graduated with a second MA, in General Linguistics, from the University of Stellenbosch. Because her doctoral thesis was on Byron, much of her research has focused on his poetry and that of other British Romantics. However, she has also diversified widely from this original specialisation, publishing as well on Early Modern, Victorian, Modernist and Postmodernist literature; colonial and postcolonial writing; the prose novel; gender and African women’s fiction; and formal aspects of literature such as versification, narrative, simile and irony. In 2017 she published a book on the history of the verse-novel. She is at present working on a second book, on Romantic and Renaissance women warriors.