Professor Angela Wright

BA University of Stirling, MA University of York, PhD University of Aberdeen


Photograph of Dr Angela Wright

Room 1.22, Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

Internal extension: 28488
Phone number: +44 (0)114-222-8488
Fax: +44 (0)114-222-8481

email :


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 main research focus lies in the publication, reception and translation of Gothic literature published between 1764 and 1820. Gothic literature seized my imagination from a very early age, and I began to develop this interest in academic directions when studying for my undergraduate degree in English and French at Stirling University. I continued to focus on eighteenth-century French and British Gothic literature in my doctoral thesis, and spent a year in Paris working at the libraries of the Bibliothèque Nationale and the Sorbonne developing the French side of my research.

My most recent monograph explores the crucial role played by Anglo-French hostilities in the development of the Gothic genre. Examining both the birth of the Gothic in the wake of the Seven Years War, and the influence of eighteenth-century French literature upon the development of the Gothic genre in Britain, my book revisits the crucial roles played by translation and adaptation in the Gothic productions of authors such as Horace Walpole, Clara Reeve, Sophia Lee, Charlotte Smith, Ann Radcliffe and Matthew Lewis. There, I also examine the political discomforts that such writings produced in the wake of renewed hostilities between France and England in the 1790s, and look at how the discourses of terror and the Gothic came to be confused by the periodical press. This book is entitled Britain, France and the Gothic, 1764-1820: The Import of Terror, and was published by Cambridge University Press in the Cambridge Studies in Romanticism series in April, 2013. Reviews have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement (September, 2013), BARS Bulletin and Review (December, 2013), and the European Romantic Review (July, 2014).

In 2007 I also published Gothic Fiction with Palgrave. This book explores the heterogeneity of contemporaneous and present-day critical responses to Gothic fiction of the late eighteenth century.

At present, I have a number of ongoing projects. I am now completing a study of the Romantic author Mary Shelley for the University of Wales Press´s new series Gothic Literary Authors. As well as revisiting Frankenstein in what I hope will be new directions, Mary Shelley also considers whether some of her later work in fact corresponds more closely with what we now understand by the Gothic. It examines Shelley´s re-engagements with the discourses of chivalry in works such as Valperga and The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck , and her increasing preoccupation with the work of mourning in later works such as The Last Man. I was awarded a Small Research Grant from the British Academy to examine Mary Shelley’s papers in the New York Public Library for this project, and undertook research for the book there in 2011

I have also edited several key collections of essays upon eighteenth-century and Romantic Gothic. The first, a collection of essays entitled 'Eighteenth-century Gothic' appeared in the international journal Gothic Studies (May, 2012).

In 2014, with Dale Townshend, I published a co-edited collection of essays upon one of my all-time favourite authors Ann Radcliffe. The publication of Ann Radcliffe, Romanticism and the Gothic coincided with the 250th birthday of Radcliffe, and a conference at Sheffield in June 2014 marked the essay collection and her birthday. A report of the conference by one of the delegates, Jonathan Dent, can be found at:

Again with Dale Townshend, I have just completed co-editing the Edinburgh Companion to Romantic Gothic, which will appear in September 2015.

My next project, after the publication of Mary Shelley, carries the provisional title Fostering Romanticism.


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 late eighteenth to the late nineteenth century in relation to political, aesthetic and scientific discourses of the time, and examines a range of novels, bluebooks and periodical essays.

I contribute to the interdisciplinary MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies and the MA in Nineteenth-Century Studies

I teach 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.
  • Lit 6028: The Eighteenth Century: Interdisciplinary Research Approaches

To date, I have successfully supervised PhD theses upon Mary Elizabeth Braddon and serial publication; Sensation fiction and medical literature and the European supernatural.

At present, I supervise six PhD students:

Duncan Burnes, working upon the Gothic in Children’s Literature

Kate Gadsby-Mace, working upon the domestication of Gothic fiction, 1800-1820

Kathleen Hudson, working upon servants in literature, 1750-1820

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

Lauren Nixon, working upon representations of women reading, and the Northanger Novels (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 Cardiff University’s MA programmes in English.

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 >: Co-president of the International Gothic Association:

2010-1013: 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.

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 at:

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, and have also given a number of talks locally in Sheffield at the Off the Shelf Literature Festival (2013), and at the Ranmoor Lectures (forthcoming 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) ISBN:9781107034068
  • Mary Shelley (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, forthcoming 2013) 
  • (co-ed) Ann Radcliffe, Romanticism and the Gothic, eds. Dale Townshend and Angela Wright (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014) (ISBN: 9781107032835)
  • (co-ed) The Edinburgh Companion to Romantic Gothic, eds. Angela Wright and Dale Townshend (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2015)

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’ in The Cambridge Companion to Women's Writing of the Romantic Period, ed. Devoney Looser (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming, 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’ 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)

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.