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Personal profile


PhD (King's College London), MA (King's College London), PGCE (Institute of Education, University of London), BA (Hons) (University of Cambridge

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Research interests

  • periodicals, popular culture and book history

  • cultural geography and literary London

  • nineteenth-century literature including Charles Dickens and G.W.M. Reynolds

  • nineteenth-century print culture and visual culture

  • Victorian drama and theatre

  • nineteenth-century adventure fiction

 I am currently working on a monograph about Billy Waters and popular culture, 1800-1860.

I am also co-editing a volume of essays on GWM Reynolds, and planning a future project about 'Adventurous Ageing' in Victorian adventure fiction and travel writing.

Research projects

I was awarded the 2016 Colby Prize for my monograph, 'Dickens, Reynolds and Mayhew on Wellington Street: The Print Culture of a Victorian Street'. I gave the Colby Lecture at the 2016 Research Society for Victorian Periodicals international conference in Kansas City.

Romantic Illustration Network (original facilitator)

Popular Literature and Culture Research Group (co-founder)

I am also working on a children's novel in my spare time.

Professional affiliations

Founding President, international GWM Reynolds Society

Research Society for Victorian Periodicals: Executive Board Member 2017-19

British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS): Executive Committee member 2010-14

North American Victorian Studies Association

British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS)


Consultancy work

Research Consultant to nineteenth-century historical fiction writers:

  • Anthony Horowitz, Moriarty (Orion: 2014) and Foyle’s War, Eleventh Hour Films;

  • Sam Christer House of Smoke (Sphere: 2015);

  • Jess Kidd, Things in Jars (Canongate: 2019) 




Victorian Literature

Children's Literature

Popular fiction

Print culture


Research Output

'Artists' Street: Thomas Stothard, R.H. Cromek, and literary illustration on London's Newman Street

Shannon, M. L., 26 Apr 2019, Romanticism and Illustration: Placing Pictures 1775-1840. Haywood, I., Matthews, S. & Shannon, M. L. (eds.). CUP

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

28 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
145 Downloads (Pure)

Colonial Networks and the Periodical Marketplace

Shannon, M., Mar 2017, Journalism and the Periodical Press in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Shattock, J. (ed.). Cambridge: CUP, p. 203-223 20 p. 12

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

The Country in the City: Dickens and the Idyllic River

Shannon, M., 13 Nov 2017, Victorian Sustainability in Literature and Culture. Parkins, W. (ed.). Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Open Access
19 Downloads (Pure)


Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Essay Prize: Honourable Mention

Shannon, Mary L. (Recipient), 2020

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

The Robert and Vineta Colby Scholarly Book Prize

Shannon, Mary L. (Recipient), 2016

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

University English Early Career book prize - Shortlisted

Shannon, Mary L. (Recipient), 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Wimbledon BookFest: Judge on children's writing competition

Mary L. Shannon (Reviewer)

May 2020

Activity: Public engagement and outreachFestival/Exhibition

BBC Radio Coventry: interview/expert contribution

Mary L. Shannon (Contributor)

2 Sep 2020

Activity: Public engagement and outreachMedia article or participation

Villages by the Sea, BBC2

Mary L. Shannon (Contributor)

5 Mar 2020

Activity: Public engagement and outreachMedia article or participation

Victorian Popular Fictions (Journal)

Mary L. Shannon (Peer reviewer)

May 2020

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review

Reynolds Re-Evaluated

Mary L. Shannon (Organiser)

23 Jul 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference