The parish's girl's progress: girlhood and bildungsroman and puberty in Victorian and neo-Victorian literature

  My PhD research focuses on the lived experience and literary representation of adolescent girls in the nineteenth century. It explores girls' life writing as a tool for understanding self-identity, and questions the motivations for such writing, as well as the editing of diaries for publication and consumption. I study the juvenile manuscript diaries of Save the Children founder Eglantyne Jebb (1876-1928), held at the Women's Library at LSE, which shed light upon the expectations and emotions of girls at a point in history in which gender politics were particularly fraught.  Considering the depiction of girls, childhood and life writing more broadly in literature, I study the 'awkward age' in The Girl's Own Paper, a batch of which SACI recently acquired, and I consider the work of best-selling writers for girls such as Charlotte Yonge, Walter Scott, and Charles Dickens. I have also completed archival research at the Museum of Childhood through studying late-Victorian and Edwardian manuscript magazines, and I have taught on 'Literature and Adaptation' and 'Narratives of Social and Sexual Deviance: Rethinking the Victorians' modules here.

  • Dates:

    2015 to date

  • Qualification:

    Doctorate (PhD)

Project Team