Senior Lecturer in English, University of Bristol
The site-specific character of writing and reading is central to my work in Romantic and Victorian literature, culture, and book history. Poetical Remains: Poets’ Graves, Bodies, and Books in the Nineteenth Century (OUP, 2004) analysed the burial places and commemorative topographies of poets – Burns, Hemans, Hood, Keats, the Rossettis, Shelley, Tennyson and Wordsworth – as resonant sites for critical reception and imaginative homage, via varied texts, images, and literary tourism. This interest in churchyards and cemeteries as complex sites and subjects which invite yet resist representation joins up with my fascination with material texts which directly address the reader and attempt to shape their experience. Album Verses and Romantic Literary Culture: Poetry, Manuscript, Print, 1780-1850 (OUP, 2020), which reconstructs the largely forgotten 1820s’ craze for keeping albums and collecting album verses, reconsiders Romantic manuscript and print culture in relation to places and personalities. It reconstructs lost albums and visitors’ books associated with specific buildings and landscapes (the ‘Album of the Fathers’ at the Monastery of the Grande Chartreuse, the Jerningham family album at Cossey Hall, Norfolk) and reads album verses and inscriptions as site-specific and temporally located unique autographic texts which were appropriated, discredited, yet disseminated in commercial print culture.