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Reader in Victorian Literature, University of Portsmouth

My research interests centre on nineteenth and twentieth-century literature, art and culture, with a particular focus on decadent writing and aestheticism, queer studies, late-Victorian Gothic fiction, and the neo-Victorian novel. I am author of Art and the Transitional Object in Vernon Lee’s Supernatural Tales (Ashgate Press, 2008), and have published on a range of other nineteenth-century writers including Wilkie Collins, Thomas Hardy, Oscar Wilde and Olive Custance in academic journals such as the Yearbook of English Studies and the Victorian Review. I have also co-edited several collections of essays including Haunting and Spectrality in Neo-Victorian Fiction: Possessing the Past (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and Crime Culture: Figuring Criminality in Fiction and Film (Continuum, 2011). Most recently, with Páraic Finnerty, I co-edited ‘Decadent Crossings’, a Special Issue of Symbiosis, 16.2. (October, 2012), and was lead editor of a four-volume facsimile collection: Spiritualism, 1840-1930, published by Routledge in January 2014. I am currently writing a monograph on the Sculptural Body in Victorian Literature, which is contracted to Edinburgh University Press.

I have organised several international conferences including ‘The Other Dickens’, held in July 2012 at the University of Portsmouth to mark the bicentenary of Dickens’s birth. I am committed to public engagement and have participated in several regional events including a public talk on 'Sculpture and Painting in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray' at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth (November 2013) and 'Ghostwatching: Spiritualism 1840–1945', evening event which I organised and hosted, that included a round-table discussion with experts Rosario Arias (University of Málaga), Dr Christine Ferguson (University of Glasgow) and Dr Tatiana Kontou (Oxford Brookes University), and featured A Kind Of Conjuration, a play about the medium Helen Duncan, written and performed by a local theatre company.

I welcome applications from prospective PhD students who would like to work on projects relating to Victorian literary heritage, late-Victorian decadence and aestheticism, nineteenth-century Gothic fiction, or the neo-Victorian novel.


  • –present
    Reader in Victorian Literature, University of Portsmouth


  • 2001 
    Queen Mary, University of London, PhD English Literature