I am a first year PhD student in English Literature. My thesis broadly considers the relationship between literature and tourism in the Romantic period, and the effect of this on ideas of identity, culture, space, place, and politics.
Research and scholarship
My thesis focusses on the writings of Lord Byron and Washington Irving, as well as a wider examination of writers in the Romantic canon. I explore the history of travel in Europe and Britain between 1770-1830 to analyse the effect of travel on the literary and critical work produced at this time (other writers include Sir Walter Scott, William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Felicia Hemans, Mariana Starke, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary Shelley).
I also research collaborative authorship, both in published works and collaborative marginalia. Following on from ideas of influences on travel, my work on collaboration is an attempt to decipher the literary and cultural influences on specific writers and the wider socio-political impact of these influences through the dissemination of their own work. I am also contemplating the various ways in which this dissemination occurs, and would like to do more work on the distribution of manuscripts, especially in Europe.
I am interested in representations of “feeling;” my ideas are grounded in the Sensibility movement of the eighteenth century, and my thesis interrogates representations of sensation and emotion in Byron and Irving’s writings. I assess the extent to which both writers use the sensory frameworks of the eighteenth century (in particular, ideas on Sensibility and the Picturesque), in relation to nature, to develop empathetic public feeling towards other nations and people.
With reference to these multiple representations, I look at depictions of history in the works of Byron and Irving and explore how far these historical portrayals serve a contemporary political purpose. Specifically I examine the impact of Byron in Greece and Italy, and Irving in Spain.