I was born in London and studied English at Cambridge, before coming to Oxford for Doctoral and Post Doctoral work. Much of my research focuses on the nineteenth-century but my research interests, and my teaching, extend into the twentieth, and twenty-first century literature, and I enjoy working with undergraduates and graduates in all these areas.
I’m interested in ideas of emotion, the history of how we feel, and how books shape feelings, and this is what drove my first book On Sympathy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). I am currently working on a number of projects.
The Medical Humanities
My research in this area takes two forms – I am writing a book about reading and medicine in the nineteenth century, called Reading Well. I also co-lead workshops for those working in the NHS.
Writing and Emotion
My first book examined the writing of Robert Browning, W. H. Auden, Samuel Beckett, and Geoffrey Hill I continue to publish on these writers, and to think about the idea of what it means to feel – running the spectrum from ideas of envy to questions of comedy (I edited the letters of P. G. Wodehouse in 2011).
You will find me teaching, lecturing and supervising on authors including Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Trollope, Browning, Braddon, T. S. Eliot, James Joyce. Samuel Beckett, W. H. Auden. Elizabeth Bishop, Geoffrey Hill, Martin Amis, Ali Smith and Zadie Smith. I co-teach Paper 1 – a paper about the way in which we approach language and literary texts – with my colleague Helen Barr.