Professor Angela Wright

Professor of Romantic Literature


Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA


I was appointed as a lecturer in Romantic Literature here at Sheffield University in 2002, and became a senior lecturer in 2010, and was promoted to a personal chair in Romantic Literature in 2015.


My interests lie in literature published between the 1760s and 1820s, and my publications have come broadly from the interactions between the Gothic and Romantic modes during these decades, both in Britain and in France. In 2013, for example, I published Britain, France and the Gothic: The Import of Terror with Cambridge University Press, and there I investigated the roles played by translation, adaptation and silent plagiarism between the Gothic and Romantic modes in Britain and France. The book was shortlisted for the Allan Lloyd Smith memorial prize for the best book published upon the Gothic 2015, and won an honourable mention. It has also been reviewed widely in the Times Literary Supplement, the BARS Review and The Year’s Work in English Studies.

In 2018 I published my first single author study, a monograph entitled Mary Shelley. There, I explored the continuing fascination with the aesthetics of terror and horror that pervade the works of Mary Shelley from Frankenstein in 1818 to the later novels and short stories that she published in the 1810s, 1820s and even 30s. The book has chapters upon Frankenstein, Matilda, Valperga, The Last Man, and a selection of her short stories, and will, I hope, encourage readers to take up some of her amazing, elegiac works beyond Frankenstein. Reviews have already appeared in Art Quarterly and Women’s Writing, and following the publication of the book, I gave a number of invited talks at the Royal Institution, Chawton House in Hampshire, the York Literature Festival as well as radio interviews as far afield as Scotland and Australia.

Other publications include the co-edited Romantic Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion (Edinburgh University Press, 2015) and Ann Radcliffe, Romanticism and the Gothic (Cambridge University Press, 2014) (both with Dale Townshend).

I am also currently co-editing a three-volume Cambridge History of the Gothic with Professors Dale Townshend and Catherine Spooner, which will be published in 2020.

Ongoing projects include a monograph provisionally entitled Fostering Romanticism which addresses the wealth and considerable weight of poetry, drama and prose published between the 1760s and 1820s that focusses upon the foster or adoptive parent. It also explores how the trope of fostering becomes one of the dominant poetic tropes of the Romantic period, considering amongst many others William Wordsworth’s observation that he was ‘fostered alike by beauty and by fear’.  This research was funded by means of a Leverhulme fellowship in 2016-17, and is now complete in draft form.  

With Professor Michael Gamer of the University of Pennsylvania, I am also working on an edition of the complete works of Ann Radcliffe for Cambridge University Press. I am very excited by both of these projects.


My teaching is closely tied to my research interests. I teach and lecture on eighteenth-century, Romantic and Victorian literature, and have an ongoing interest in theories of gender and nationalism. I offer two approved modules at undergraduate level.  'European Gothic' examines the development of the Gothic genre in Europe from the eighteenth century to the present day; and 'Crime and Transgression in Romantic literature' explores the different resonances of these terms across Romantic poetry, fiction, drama, legal essays and reviews.

I also offer an MA module entitled 'Romantic Gothic' and convene a brand new module on Foundlings, Fostering and Adoption during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I also teach upon the following modules:

  • Lit 207 - Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature.
  • Lit 3101 - Romantic and Victorian Prose
  • Lit 217 - European Gothic.
  • Lit 3023 - Crime and Transgression in Romantic Literature.
  • Lit 6007 -Romantic Gothic
  • Foundlings, Fostering and Adoption in literature, 1739-1900


I would be happy to receive any enquiries on working with me, and my intersections between the Gothic, the eighteenth century and the Romantic period. To date, I have successfully supervised PhD theses upon Mary Elizabeth Braddon and serial publication; Sensation fiction medical literature the European supernatural, the Gothic novel and the national tale, the role and function of servants in Gothic fiction, and upon the interrelationships between Gothic fiction and travelogues during the eighteenth century.

At present, I co-supervise the following PhD students:

Lauren Nixon, working upon representations of masculinity in the early Gothic novel (co-supervision with Andy Smith)

Carly Stevenson, working upon death in Gothic poetry in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century (co-supervision with Andy Smith)

Elli Karampela: working upon the manifestations of Gothic fear in Romantic poetry (funded by a University of Sheffield faculty scholarship)

I also act as second supervisor to projects upon Gothic Renaissance (Amy Jackson, first supervised by Tom Rutter, and the representations of women’s participation in the arts in eighteenth-century literature, first supervised by Joe Bray).

Professional roles

External examining: I served as the external examiner for the University of Stirling´s MLitt in `The Gothic Imagination´ (2005-9), and as the external examiner for the University of Glamorgan´s BA in English programmes (2008-2012).

I am currently the external examiner of the following MA programmes:

The University of Kent’s MA programmes in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and Manchester Metropolitan University’s MA English Studies programmes and pathways.

I have acted as external examiner for doctoral theses at the following institutions: Cardiff University; National Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Stirling University, the University of York and the University of Southampton.

2013 - 2017: Co-president of the International Gothic Association.

2010-2013: Treasurer and membership secretary of the British Association of Romantic Studies (BARS)

Membership of advisory boards: Gothic Studies; Studies in Gothic Fiction and the University of Wales Press´s Gothic Literary Studies series.

I have also acted as a reader for Cambridge University Press, Manchester University Press, Edinburgh University Press and the University of Wales Press.

Awards and Grant Capture

2011: British Academy Small Research Award

2016-17: Leverhulme Research Fellowship

Public engagement

I enjoy communicating my research beyond academic audiences, and have co-organised a number of initiatives in order to do this. With Helena Ifill of the School of English, and my PhD student Kate Gadsby-Mace, ran a project entitled ‘Gothic Bites’ in 2013, which encouraged groups of 14-year-old students from three secondary schools in Sheffield to create their own Gothic fictions with us, and then have them animated and digitised into short films. I have also delivered a number of guest lectures upon Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to sixth-form audiences, and in 2018 organised a schools short story writing contest where pupils were encouraged to write their own versions of Frankenstein. I have delivered seminars upon Gothic literature to secondary school teachers, at the Prince’s Teaching Institute (2011, 2014), at the English Media Centre (2014), and at and the University of Sheffield upon Gothic literature.

I have also given an interview to the BBC online magazine upon Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and have an essay entitled 'The Fear Factor', upon Gothic fiction and its social anxieties in the BBC History Magazine (November, 2014). An article upon Frankenstein also appeared in The Georgian in January 2019. 

Media appearances include a discussion of Dracula on Radio 5 Live’s ‘Up All Night’(October, 2013), a discussion of Ann Radcliffe on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour (June, 2014) and participation in a 'A Dark and Stormy Night' upon the making of Frankenstein that was broadcast on BBC 2 at the end of October 2014. More recently, during the celebrations around the bicentenary of the publication of Frankenstein, I participated in participated in a radio programme entitled, 'Two hundred years of Frankenstein', on the 'Late Night Live' show presented by Phillip Adams on the Australian Broadcasting Company's Radio National. You can listen to the programme hereI also participated in a BBC Radio Scotland programme on Mary Shelley in Dundee in September 2018.

I welcome the opportunity of communicating my passion for the Romantic Gothic to different audiences. I have spoken of the Northanger Novels to the Jane Austen Society (London Branch), of Frankenstein at St Peter’s School, York, in 2016, a science fiction event at the Barbican in 2017, at the Royal Institution, London, in January 2018, at the York Literature Festival in March, 2018, at the inaugural event of the Chawton House exhibition Terror and Wonder in March 2018, and at the Off the Shelf Literature Festival in Sheffield, October 2018.


  • Mary Shelley (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2018) Hardback - 9781783168460 Paperback – 9781786831736. Reviews have appeared in Women’s Writing (25: 2018) and Art Quarterly (2018).
  • Britain, France and the Gothic, 1764-1820: The Import of Terror (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013; paperback 2015) ISBN:9781107034068. Shortlisted for the Alan Lloyd Smith prize for the best monograph upon the Gothic in 2015, and recipient of an honourable mention (i.e. runner up). Reviews have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement (September, 2013); the BARS Bulletin and Review (2013) and the Year’s Work in English Studies 2015.
  • Gothic Fiction: A reader’s guide to essential criticism (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007) (ISBN-10: 1-4039-3666-8)
  • (co-ed) Ann Radcliffe, Romanticism and the Gothic, eds. Dale Townshend and Angela Wright (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014, paperback 2016) (ISBN: 9781107032835) Reviews of this have appeared in Eighteenth-Century Studies, 48:1, Fall 2014; Revue Pluridisciplinaire du Monde Anglophone, 1st July 2015, vol. II; Romanticism 23:1; Keats-Shelley Journal 2015, vol.64; ABO: International Journal for Women in the Arts 2016: 6:1
  • (co-ed) Romantic Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015) ISBN-10: 0748696741
In preparation
  • The Cambridge History of the Gothic , a contracted 3 volume work (co-edited with Catherine Spooner and Dale Townshend, due to be published in 2020)
  • Fostering Romanticism: Discourses of Fostering and Adoption in poetry, prose and drama, 1760-1820: a monograph generously supported by a fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust.
  • With Michael Gamer, General editorship of a new edition of the complete works of Ann Radcliffe.
Edited journal issues
  • With Hamish Mathison, ‘Instruments of Enlightenment’ including ‘Introduction’ (with Mathison), History of European Ideas, (31/2, 2005. ISSN: 0191-6599)
  • ‘Eighteenth-Century Gothic’, Gothic Studies, including 'Introduction' and essay listed below (14/1, May, 2012) (ISSN: 1362–7937)
Articles, chapters etc
  • ‘‘The house of misery’: space and memory in the later correspondence and literature of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’ in Romanticism and the Letter, eds. Madeleine Callaghan and Anthony Howe (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2019)
  • ‘Gothic Poetry in the Long Nineteenth Century: Thresholds of influence, possibilities and desire’ in The Edinburgh Companion to Gothic and the Arts, ed. David Punter (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2019)
  • ‘The Gothic: New Directions’ in Spain in British Romanticism, 1800-1820, eds. Ian Haywood and Diego Saglia (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2017), pp.177-193. ISBN 978-3-319-64456-1
  • ‘The Female Gothic’ in The Cambridge Companion to Frankenstein, ed. Andrew Smith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), pp.101-115.
  • ‘The heroine in flight’ in The Edinburgh Companion to Women’s Gothic, eds. Avril Horner and Sue Zlosnik (Edinburgh; Edinburgh University Press, 2015)‘The Gothic’ in The Cambridge Companion to Women's Writing of the Romantic Period, ed. Devoney Looser (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015)
  •  ‘Gothic Literature, 1764-1820’ in Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination, ed. Dale Townshend (British Library publishing division, October 2014) (ISBN-13: 978-0712357913)
  • (with Dale Townshend) ‘Gothic and Romantic engagements: The critical reception of Ann Radcliffe, 1789–1850’ in Ann Radcliffe, Romanticism and the Gothic (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), pp.3-33 (ISBN: 9781107032835)
  • ‘Gothic translation: France, 1760-1830’ in The Gothic World, eds. Dale Townshend and Glennis Byron (London: Routledge, 2014), pp. 221-30. (ISBN: 978-0-415-63744-2)
  • 'The fickle fortunes of chivalry in eighteenth-century Gothic' in Eighteenth-century Gothic'.ed Angela Wright, Gothic Studies (14/1, May, 2012) (ISSN: 1362–7937)
  • ‘Inspiration, toleration and relocation in Ann Radcliffe’s A journey made in the summer of 1794, through Holland and the western frontier of Germany’ in Romantic Localities, eds. Christoph Bode and Jacqueline Labbe (London: Pickering and Chatto, June 2010. ISBN: 978 1 84893 002 5) 
  • ‘Disturbing the Female Gothic: An Excavation of the Northanger Novels’ in Female Gothic, eds. Andrew Smith and Diana Wallace, (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2009. ISBN: 9780230222717)
  • ‘In Search of Arden: Ann Radcliffe’s William Shakespeare’ in Gothic Shakespeares, eds. John Drakakis and Dale Townshend (London: Routledge, 2008)
  • ‘“How do we ape thee, France!” The cult of Rousseau in Women’s Gothic Writing of the 1790s’ in Le Gothic, eds. Avril Horner and Sue Zlosnik (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2008) (ISBN 13: 978-0-230-51764-6)
  • ‘Scottish Gothic’ in The Routledge Companion to Gothic, eds. Catherine Spooner and Emma McEvoy, (London: Routledge, 2007) ISBN-10:0415398428
  • ‘To live the life of hopeless recollection’: Mourning and Melancholia in Female Gothic, 1780-1800’ in ‘Female Gothic’, eds. Andrew Smith and Diana Wallace, Gothic Studies (6.1, May 2004. (ISSN: 1362-7937)
  • ‘Early Women’s Gothic Writing: Examining Problems of Historicity and Canonicity in Clara Reeve’s The Old English Baron and Sophia Lee’s The Recess’ in Approaches to Teaching Gothic Fiction, eds. Diane Long Hoeveler and Tamar Heller (New York: Modern Language Association, October 2003. ISBN: 0873529073)
  • ‘European Disruptions of the Idealized Woman: Matthew Lewis’s The Monk and the Marquis de Sade’s La Nouvelle Justine’ in European Gothic: A Spirited Exchange, ed. Avril Horner (Manchester University Press, August 2002. ISBN: 0 7190 6063 X) Reprinted in Hogle, Jerrold E., ed. Gothic Literature: A Gale Critical Companion. 3 Vols. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson/Gale, 2006. ISBN 13: 9780787694708. ISBN10: 0787694703.
  • ‘L'importance du paysage sauvage dans l'évolution de l'indépendence et de la fraternité pour l'héroine du roman noir et du mélodrame,’ In Mélodrames et romans noirs, 1750-1890, eds. Simone Bernard Griffiths, Jean Sgard. (Toulouse: PU du Mirail, 2000: 247-258. ISBN: 2-85816-503-3)
  • ‘Games behind the scenes: Spectacular politics in French melodrama’ in Studies on Voltaire in the Eighteenth Century (SVEC 2000:08 pp. 211-218. ISSN: 0435 2866)
Shorter articles, encyclopaedia entries and online articles:
  • Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in The Georgian (January, 2019)
  • ‘The Fear Factor’, BBC History Magazine, 10, November 2014
  • Corinne in distress: Translation as cultural misappropriation’ in ‘Madame de Stäel and Corinne in England’ ed. Mary Peace, introd. Cora Kaplan, a special issue of Corvey CW3 , 2,Winter2004, ISSN:1744-9618 (
  • ‘Haunted Britain in the 1790s’ in ‘Gothic Technologies: Visuality in the Romantic Era’, ed. Robert Miles, a special issue of Romantic Circles Praxis Series
  • ‘Clara Reeve’, in The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Gothic, eds. William Hughes, David Punter and Andrew Smith (Oxford: Blackwell, 2013)
  • ‘Mary Shelley’ in The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Gothic, eds. William Hughes, David Punter and Andrew Smith (Oxford: Blackwell, 2013

Book reviews have appeared in French Studies; the British Association of Romantic Studies´ Bulletin and Review, The British Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies and European Romantic Review.