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 Gothic Fiction in 2015 and won an honourable mention.

My forthcoming book on Mary Shelley treads new territory for me in focussing upon a single author. There, I explore 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.

By demonstrating the shared aesthetics of terror and horror that range across her body of work, I hope that this book will show the agility, discursive breadth and continuing preoccupations that characterise Mary Shelley’s writing throughout her career. The book will be published in January 2018, and you can see its cover here.

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.

I am also currently writing another monograph, 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. This research was funded by means of a Leverhulme fellowship in 2016-17, and should, I hope, be completed by Autumn 2018.


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 'The Rise of the Gothic'. This module explores the development of the Gothic genre in Britain from the eighteenth century through to 1820 in relation to political, aesthetic and scientific discourses of the time, and examines a range of novels, bluebooks and periodical essays.

I will be contributing to the new MA in Literature, Culture and Society on 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 - The Rise of the Gothic, 1790-1890.


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 and the role and function of servants in Gothic fiction.

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

Mark Bennett, working upon the intersections between the Gothic and travel literature (co-supervision with Andy Smith)

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)

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. Their fabulous final creations can be seen on the Gothic Bites website.

I have also delivered a number of guest lectures upon Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to sixth-form audiences, and 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).

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. I welcome the opportunity of communicating my passion for the Gothic to different audiences, spoken of the Northanger Novels to the Jane Austen Society (London Branch), of Frankenstein at a science fiction event at the Barbican in 2017. I have also given a number of talks locally in Sheffield at the Off the Shelf Literature Festival (2013), and at the Ranmoor Lectures (2015).


  • Gothic Fiction: A reader’s guide to essential criticism (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007) (ISBN-10: 1-4039-3666-8)
  • Britain, France and the Gothic, 1764-1820: The Import of Terror (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013; paperback 2015) ISBN:9781107034068. Recipient of an honourable mention in the Alan Lloyd Smith prize for monographs upon the Gothic. 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.
  • Mary Shelley (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, forthcoming January, 20138) Hardback - 9781783168460 Paperback – 9781786831736
  • (co-ed) Ann Radcliffe, Romanticism and the Gothic, eds. Dale Townshend and Angela Wright (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014, paperback 2016) (ISBN: 9781107032835)
  • (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 (with Catherine Spooner and Dale Townshend)
  • Fostering Romanticism: Discourses of Fostering and Adoption in poetry, prose and drama, 1760-1820
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 Gothic: New Directions’ in Spain in British Romanticism, 1800-1820, eds. Ian Haywood and Diego Saglia (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2017)
  • ‘The Female Gothic’ in The Cambridge Companion to Frankenstein, ed. Andrew Smith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), pp.101-115.
  • ‘The Gothic’ in The Cambridge Companion to Women's Writing of the Romantic Period, ed. Devoney Looser (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015)
  • ‘The Fear Factor’, BBC History Magazine, 10, November 2014.
  • ‘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’ inRomantic 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)
Forthcoming essays
  • ‘The heroine in flight’ in The Edinburgh Companion to Women’s Gothic, eds. Avril Horner and Sue Zlosnik (Edinburgh; Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2015)
  • ‘Women’s Gothic’ in The Cambridge Companion to Frankenstein ed. Andrew Smith (forthcoming, 2015016)
Shorter articles, encyclopaedia entries and online articles:
  • 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.


All academic staff

Research themes