School of English

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Molly Watson

Research Student,


Research Summary

Current Status: PhD (full-time, 2021-25) - currently registered.

Research Topic: Motherhood, Children and Loss in the Works of Sara Coleridge and Mary Shelley, 1820-44.

Research Summary:

My thesis explores themes of motherhood and loss in a group of hitherto relatively unexplored writings by Sara Coleridge and Mary Shelley, including: Coleridge's Phantasmion (1837), Pretty Lessons in Verse for Good Children (1834), and Shelley's Proserpine (1820), Maurice (1820), and Rambles in Germany and Italy (1844). The project will contribute to an understanding of three areas identified by scholars as crucial to a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of Romantic period culture: women's writing; literature for and about children; and 'late Romanticism' (i.e., British literary culture of the 1820s-1840s).

Research Interests:

I am interested in second-generation and 'late' Romanticism (1820s-50s), women's writing, children's literature, literary legacies, death studies, natural history and the Gothic.


Prof. Lynda Pratt (University of Nottingham)

Prof. Máire Ní Fhlathúin (University of Nottingham)

Dr. Felicity James (University of Leicester)

Primary Funding Source: Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership.


Member of British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) January 2021-present.

Member of British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS) January 2022 - present.

Member of British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS) January 2022 - present.


'Percy Shelley's Gothic (Dis)connections' - British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) Disconnections/Reconnections, August 2021.

'Occultism, Demonology and the Dead in Percy Shelley's Gothic Fiction' - University of Huddersfield Research Festival, June 2021.

'Arising from the state of intellectual sickliness and lethargy': A Re-evaluation of Percy Shelley's Gothic Fiction' - Romantic Reputations, April 2021.

'Radical Shelley? The Victorian Myth' - London Nineteenth-Century Studies Seminar Graduate Strand (LNCSSGS) 'Struggle, Upheaval, Transformation', January 2021.

'(Im)mortality and the Female Muse in the Poetry of John Keats' - BARS Romantic Futurities, June 2020.

Additional Information:

I completed my Master's by Research (MRes) on Percy Shelley's Gothic Fiction (1810-12) at the University of Huddersfield in Autumn 2021.

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