Personal profile


PhD, Newcastle University

MA, Victoria University of Wellington

BA (Hons), Victoria University of Wellington

BA, Victoria University of Wellington

Research interests

Romantic afterlives and legacies, the Romantic child figure, and family authorship, especially the Coleridge-Wordsworth family circle and the Godwin family; early nineteenth-century literary criticism, literary biography and memorialization, William Hazlitt, Thomas De Quincey, Sara Coleridge, affect and feeling in criticism.

Professional affiliations

British Association for Romantic Studies

Friends of Coleridge

Research projects

My monograph, Romantic Childhood, Romantic Heirs 1820-1850: Reproduction and Retrospection (Palgrave, 2017), considers an often-overlooked literary period through its concerns with reproduction, inheritance, memorial, and what it means to be, both literally and literarily, a child of Romanticism. It explores how four authors of the period ‘wrote back’, interrogating the Romantic-era discourses of ideal childhood and education into which they were written by their author-fathers, and exploring the cultural, social, and creative consequences of their doubled production as both flesh-and-blood children and textual constructions. Hartley and Sara Coleridge, children of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and William Godwin Jr, children of the author and philosopher William Godwin, were all both ‘real’ and ‘literary’ children, implicated explicitly and indirectly in their fathers’ works. The ways in which the fiction and memorial life-writing of all four registers and works through this predicament offers, I argue, a way to read the regenerative anxieties of the wider period. The monograph suggests that, rather than dismiss this period, as past criticism has done, we should instead recognise in the evaluative, reflexive, fragmentary, and fugitive forms which characterise it a mode of working through this anxiety of inheritance and a sustained critique of Romantic literature's concern with creative production and the figure of the child.