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Professor Emma Clery 


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Professor Emma Clery is a Professor of English at the University of Southampton.

I have previously taught at Keele University and held a Senior Research Fellowship at Sheffield Hallam University, working with the Corvey Project on Romantic-Era Women’s Writing. In 2005 I came to Southampton as Professor of Eighteenth-Century Literature, with responsibilities for developing the link with Chawton House Library, a centre for the study of early women’s writing with a unique collection of rare books. I teach undergraduate and MA courses based at Chawton and Southampton. I have supervised PhD research on Jane Austen, ‘Monk’ Lewis and Gothic theatre, the novels of Lady Caroline Lamb, British national identity in the 18th century, and Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s fiction.

I am currently Director of the Southampton Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies (SCECS). For information on the MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies, visit the SCECS masters page

As well as publishing extensively on eighteenth-century fiction (see 'Publications'), gothic fiction and writing by women, I have also broadcast on these subjects. Broadcasts include:

The Birth of the British Novel, BBC4, broadcast 17 February 2011. Interviewed by Henry Hitchings on Frances Burney at Chawton House Library.

How Reading Made Us Modern, BBC4, broadcast 11th February 2009. Interviewed by John Mullan on women's reading in the eighteenth century at Chawton House Library.

In Our Time: Gothic, Radio 4, 4 January, 2001. Melvyn Bragg talks to Chris Baldick, Emma Clery and A.N. Wilson




Research interests

I am currently completing a study of a key episode in Romantic literary history: the publication in 1812 of a powerful protest poem, Eighteen Hundred and Eleven, by Anna Letitia Barbauld, then regarded as one of the greatest modern British poets.  At the time, at a lowpoint in the war against Napoleon, it was taken as a message of defeatism and duly savaged in the loyalist press. The myth arose that a review of the poem in the Quarterly Review, anonymously authored by the Tory politician John Wilson Croker, ended Barbauld's long and previously illustrious career. A central aim of the book is the overturning of this myth. It will involve a fundamental reappraisal of the context, form, content and reception of the poem, with implications for the study of the politics of poetry more generally in the era of Revolution.

I am also continuing to work on Jane Austen, with a focus on her place in Regency print culture. 
My interests include the development of the novel in the 18th and early 19th centuries, and the novels of Jane Austen in particular; women's writing in all genres; Gothic literature in all genres; gender history, especially representations of masculinity; political economy and literature; reception theory and the history of the book. I would be happy to offer research supervision in any of these areas and on other aspects of 18th and early 19th century literature and culture.

I am currently supervising PhD research on the following topics:

  • The Illustration of Novels by Women Writers 1690-1740 (funded by an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award and co-supervised at Chawton House Library)
  • Defining the Maternal Imagination 1700-1800
  • Free Indirect Speech in the Work of Jane Austen
  • Young Adult Readers and Gothic Literature


‘Novels of the 1750s’, in The Oxford History of the Novel, Volume 2, 1750-1820, ed. Peter Garside and Karen O’Brien (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2012) (7000 words).

‘Jane Austen and Gender’, in The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen, ed. Edward Copeland and Juliet McMaster (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2011) (7000 words).




Book Section(s)

  • Luxury - Clery, E.J.. In The History of British Women’s Writing, 1690-1750 - Ballaster, Ros (ed.)
    Published by:
    Basingstoke, GB
    The History of British Women's Writing
    Page Range:
  • ‘Austen and masculinity’ - Clery, E.J.. In A Companion to Jane Austen - Johnson, Claudia L. and Tuite, Clara (eds.)
    Published by:
    Chichester, U.K.
    Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture, 57
    Page Range:
  • Introduction - Clery, E.J.. In Authorship, Commerce and the Public: Scenes of Writing, 1750-1850 - Clery, E.J., Franklin, Caroline and Garside, Peter (eds.)
    Published by:
    Basingstoke, UK
    Page Range:
  • Horace Walpole’s ‘The Mysterious Mother' and the impossibility of female desire - Clery, Emma. In The Gothic - Botting, Fred (ed.)
    Published by:
    Page Range:
  • To dazzle let the Vain design: Alexander Pope’s portrait gallery and the impossibility of brilliant women - Clery, E.J.. In Bluestockings Displayed: Portraiture, Performance and Patronage, 1730-1830 - Eger, Elizabeth (ed.)
  • Gender - Clery, E.J.. In Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen. 2nd edition - Copeland, Edward and McMaster, Juliet (eds.)
    Published by:
    Cambridge, GB
  • The novel in the 1750s - Clery, E.J.. In The Oxford History of the Novel in English, Volume 2 1750-1820 - O'Brien, Karen and Garside, Peter (eds.)
    Published by:
    Oxford, GB
  • The genesis of “Gothic” fiction - Clery, Emma. In The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction - Hogle, Jerrold E. (ed.)
    Published by:
    Cambridge: New York
    Page Range:
Professor Emma Clery
Faculty of Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom

Room Number:65/2039

Telephone:(023) 8059 4544

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