If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


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

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy; Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

Research interests

I research and write about Regency and Victorian popular culture, fiction, plays, images, and the press. I'm fascinated by the literary world of nineteenth-century London and its teeming history: the places, the people, and the streets. My book on the 1820s African-American London busker Billy Waters, Billy Waters is Dancing: Or, How A Black Sailor Found Fame In Regency and Victorian Britain will be published by Yale in late 2024. This work is funded by grants from the Leverhulme Trust and the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals. I speak on the Radio and TV about nineteenth-century culture and I do historical consultancy work.

Latest media:

BBC Radio 3/BBC Sounds 'Busking and Billy Waters': https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0fb2ppm

Famous People You've Never Heard Of podcast: https://tinyurl.com/y7xjtyrm

Billy Waters teaching resource: 


I'm always delighted to hear from students wishing to pursue PhDs in any of these areas:

  • 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

  • nineteenth-century Black British history

Research projects

Feb. 2024 - Nov. 2024: Susanna Wesley Foundation Grant

'Assessing Research Impact Through the Life of Billy Waters'

Jan. 2022 - April 2023: Leverhulme Research Fellowship

‘The Celebrated Billy Waters and the circulation of popular culture 1800-1860’

Sept. 2021 - Dec. 2021: Linda H. Peterson Fellow, Research Society for Victorian Periodicals 


Billy Waters, Periodicals, and Nineteenth-Century Popular Culture’

Upcoming projects:

Adventures in Ageing (under development)

I was awarded the 2016 Colby Prize for my monograph, 'Dickens, Reynolds and Mayhew on Wellington Street: The Print Culture of a Victorian Street'.


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) 

TV and Radio credits:

  • BBC 2 'Villages by the Sea'
  • BBC Radio Coventry
  • BBC Radio Bristol
  • BBC Radio Ulster
  • Foyles' War season 9 ep. 2 and 3



Victorian Literature

Children's Literature

Popular fiction

Print culture


Professional affiliations

GWM Reynolds Society (founding President)

Romantic Illustration Network (original facilitator)

Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (Executive Board Member)

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

North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA)

British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS)

American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR)



Watch my Colby Lecture at the 2016 Research Society for Victorian Periodicals international conference in Kansas City.

View Romantic Illustration Network website

View GWM Reynolds Society website

View Twitter Account