Dr Madeleine Callaghan
School of English
Senior Lecturer in Romantic Literature
+44 114 222 8461
Full contact details
School of English
1 Upper Hanover Street
I joined the School of English in September 2010 and I’m a senior lecturer in Romantic Literature. My primary research interest is the poetry of Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, and Yeats. I also have research interests in other Romantic poets and prose writers, Milton and Spenser, and in twentieth-century British and Irish poetry.
I read English at Durham University and stayed in Durham for my Masters and PhD. My monograph on Shelley, entitled Shelley’s Living Artistry: Letters, Poems, Plays, came out in 2017, and my second monograph, entitled The Poet-Hero in the Work of Byron and Shelley, came out in 2019. With Michael O’Neill, I co-edited Twentieth Century British and Irish Poetry: Hardy to Mahon (2011), and we also co-authored The Romantic Poetry Handbook (2018). I co-edited Romanticism and the Letter with Anthony Howe in 2020.
My most recent book is Eternity in British Romantic Poetry (2022). By way of an overview, the monograph, Eternity in British Romantic Poetry explores the representation of the relationship between eternity and the mortal world in the poetry of the period. This monograph will offer an original approach to Romanticism that demonstrates the dominant intellectual preoccupation of the period: the relationship between the mortal and the eternal. The aims of the project are two-fold: firstly, to analyse the prevalence and range of images of eternity (from apocalypse, and afterlife, to transcendence) in Romantic poetry; secondly, in opening up a new and more nuanced focus on how Romantic poets imagined and interacted with the idea of eternity, it challenges the assumption that the Romantic age should be considered through a contextual rather than a conceptual lens.
- Research interests
My primary area of interest is Romantic and post-Romantic poetry, and I have written extensively about the poetry of the Romantic period, particularly on Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, and Yeats. I also have research interests in Milton, Coleridge, and in post-war British, American, and Irish poetry, particularly that of Louis MacNeice and John Berryman. I am particularly interested in the role and responsibility of the poet from the Romantic period to the present day. This was a point of serious debate in the Romantic period, from Shelley's sense of the “unacknowledged legislator” to Byron's mocking yet intense questioning of the place of poetry and the poet in culture. My work pays close attention to the workings of poetry to consider the contested significance and singularity of the poet to their culture.
My new project, Such Liars: Romantic Period Poetry and the Truth, examines poetry’s relationship with truth via means of close analysis and philosophical debate. The project’s aims are two-fold. Firstly, to examine why the relationship between poetry and the truth is so persistently debated by tracing the changing conception of the role of the poet in relation to the truth. Secondly, in pioneering a richer range of thinking about the relationship between poetry and truth, it will consider the relationship between the ethical and the aesthetic to reimagine and communicate it in innovative ways for diverse audiences. There are three key research questions that this project will seek to explore: How does poetry understand truth and what kind of truth does it speak? What stance do Romantic and pre- Romantic poets and philosophers take towards poetry’s relationship with truth? In what way does Romantic-period poetry conceive of the idea of truth-telling?
- Eternity in British Romantic Poetry.
- The Poet-Hero in the Work of Byron and Shelley. London: Anthem Press.
- The Romantic Poetry Handbook. John Wiley & Sons.
- View this article in WRRO Shelley’s Living Artistry: Letters, Poems, Plays. Liverpool University Press.
- Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry. Wiley-Blackwell.
- Romanticism and the Letter. Springer International Publishing.
- The Oxford Handbook of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Byron and his twentieth century poetic legacy : Yeats, Auden, Berryman. The Review of English Studies. View this article in WRRO
- “The artifice of eternity”: The Wanderings of Oisin and the Byzantium poems. Irish Studies Review, 27(2), 177-194. View this article in WRRO
- Shelley in Eternity. Essays in Criticism: a quarterly journal of literary criticism, 68(3), 308-326. View this article in WRRO
- The Poetic. COUNTERTEXT-A JOURNAL FOR THE STUDY OF THE POST-LITERARY, 3(2), 209-210.
- View this article in WRRO ‘Chosen Comrades’: Yeats’s Romantic Rhymes. Romanticism, 23(2), 155-165.
- View this article in WRRO Byron and Shelley’s Poetry of 1816. Wordsworth Circle, 48(1), 26-32.
- View this article in WRRO Laon and Cythna. Keats-Shelley Journal, 66, 186-187.
- FORMS OF CONFLICT: BYRON'S INFLUENCE ON YEATS. English, 64(245), 81-98. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Shelley and the Ambivalence of Idealism. Keats-Shelley Journal, 64, 92-104.
- Nancy Moore Goslee, Shelley's Visual Imagination, Cambridge Studies in Romanticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. vii + 275. £55.00 hardback. 9781107008380.. Romanticism, 19(2), 220-221.
- Romantic 'Anglo-Italians': Configurations of Identity in Byron, the Shelleys, and the Pisan Circle. KEATS-SHELLEY REVIEW, 26(1), 75-77.
- Shelley's Music: Fantasy, Authority, and the Object Voice. KEATS-SHELLEY REV(26), 181-182.
- The Poetics of Perception in Southey's The Curse of Kehama and Byron's The Giaour. WORDSWORTH CIRCLE, 42(1), 38-41.
- The Struggle with Language in Byron's 'Cain'. The Byron Journal, 38(2), 125-134.
- 'His mute voice': The two heroes of Adonais. Keats-Shelley Review, 24, 38-52.
- Shelley’s Poet-Birds. Essays in Criticism.
- What Can the Romantic Lyric Do?. Textual Practice.
- View this article in WRRO Shelley's Excursion. SEL Studies in English Literature, 60(4).
- Writing “Supreme Reality”: Coleridge’s Religious Musings and Shelley’s Queen Mab. Studies in romanticism.
- Florence as Muse: Byron and Shelley’s Tuscan Competition. European Romantic Review.
- Byron, Shelley, and Keats, and the Limits of Letters, Romanticism and the Letter (pp. 183-198). Springer International Publishing
- View this article in WRRO Introduction: Romanticism and the Letter In Callaghan M & Howe A (Ed.), Romanticism and the Letter (pp. 1-14). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Romanticism and the Letter: Introduction, Romanticism and the Letter (pp. 1-14). Springer International Publishing
- “Gothic Romanticism and the Summer of 1816.” In Wright A & Townshend D (Ed.), The Cambridge History of the Gothic: Volume 2: Gothic in the Nineteenth Century (pp. 19-40). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- The Lake Poets In Tuite C (Ed.), Byron in Context (pp. 190-196). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. View this article in WRRO
- The Lake Poets, Byron in Context (pp. 190-196). Cambridge University Press
- John Keats in Context Cambridge University Press View this article in WRRO
- Letters, JOHN KEATS IN CONTEXT (pp. 66-74).
- ‘Strong Ghosts’: Romantic Presences in Yeats’s Poetry, Romantic Presences in the Twentieth Century (pp. 27-42). Routledge
- 'Any thing human or earthly': Shelley's letters and poetry, Letter Writing Among Poets: From William Wordsworth to Elizabeth Bishop (pp. 111-125).
- Louis MacNeice and the Struggle for Romantic Identity, Legacies of Romanticism (pp. 149-164). Routledge
- Shelley and Milton In Callaghan M, O'Neill M & Howe A (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Percy Bysshe Shelley (pp. 478-494). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- ‘Strong Ghosts’: Romantic Presences in Yeats’s Poetry In Sandy M (Ed.), Romantic Presences in the Twentieth Century (pp. 27-42). Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd..
- Louis MacNeice and the Struggle for Romantic Identity In Casaliggi C & March-Russell P (Ed.), The Legacies of Romanticism Routledge
- Research group
I supervise and have been primary supervisor for several successful doctoral theses. These include work on Keats and pleasure and pain (funded by the Wolfson Foundation), Percy Bysshe Shelley and androgyny, pastoral poetry in the Romantic period, the second-generation Romantic poets and quest (AHRC funded) and a thesis on Owen and the Romantic elegiac tradition (funded by WRoCAH), as well as secondary supervising a number of other projects. I am interested in supervising PhD candidates in any of my research interests, especially in Romantic or post-Romantic poetry.
- Teaching activities
My research and teaching interests are closely related. I teach on the English Literature BA course and various Masters programmes. Modules that I contribute to at undergraduate level include "Romanticism to Modernism,” “The Invention of Romanticism,” plus my approved module for finalists, “Life After Death? Romantic Poets and Writing the Afterlife”
At postgraduate level, I am a member of the teaching team for various courses on the Masters degree, and co-convene (with Dr Anna Barton) two modules, "Love and Lyric" and "I want a hero: Romantic and Victorian Epic."