I specialise in Victorian literature and in research on reading and health. My publications include Faithful Realism: Elizabeth Gaskell and Leo Tolstoy (2002), George Eliot’s Middlemarch (2008), This is Living Art: Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Shakespeare (2012), and editions of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters (2006) and Margaret Oliphant's Novellas (2013). I have recently completed editions of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poetry and of George Eliot's shorter fiction for Oxford University Press. I have published extensively on the power of literary reading to influence mental health and well-being, particularly in the areas of depression and dementia. I am currently engaged in interdisciplinary research projects related to reading in prisons, chronic pain, reading with children and families, and the psychology of reading, with colleagues in Medicine, Health and Psychological Sciences, and with national charity The Reader Organisation.