Dr Shirley Foster

BA London, 1964; MA Michigan, 1966; PhD Liverpool, 1974

Senior Research Fellow

BA London, 1964; MA Michigan, 1966; PhD Liverpool, 1974

email : shirley@lettuce.force9.co.uk


I came to the English Literature Department of Sheffield University in 1973, having spent four years in the American Studies Department at Hull University. My PhD was on the Victorian novelist and essayist, Elizabeth Missing Sewell, and I subsequently incorporated some of this material into my first book, Victorian Women´s Fiction: Marriage, Freedom and the Individual (Croom Helm, 1985).

I am now partly retired from the Department, but continue to participate in teaching for the Victorian Literature course and for the MA in Nineteenth-Century Studies. I am also currently supervising three PhD students, in nineteenth-century British and American literature.

My research interests are mainly in the fields of Victorian women´s fiction and Anglo-American travel writing, and I have published widely in these areas. Recent publications include a co-edited anthology of women´s travel texts, a literary biography of Elizabeth Gaskell, and an edition of Gaskell´s Mary Barton.

In the last few years, I have also published articles on nineteenth-century American visitors to Britain, on women explorers and their clothing, on Harriet Beecher Stowe in Europe and on aspects of American literary tourism.

Book cover for Mary Barton

Book cover for Elizabeth Gaskell, A Literary Life.