Dr Felicity James

james, felicity

Associate Professor in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Literature

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2199

E: fj21@le.ac.uk



Personal details

MA, M.St, D.Phil (Oxford), FHEA

I completed my Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Higher Education at Leicester in 2013. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Teaching

Publications

Books

  • The Dissenting Mind: The Aikin Family, 1740s-1860s, co-editor with Ian Inkster (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)
  • Charles Lamb, Coleridge and Wordsworth: Reading Friendship in the 1790s (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)

"Outstanding [...] James builds an interesting, original, nuanced and persuasive literary argument around significant biographical moments and their associated texts and contexts. [...] Future study prompted by James's work promises to 'open onto wider meanings' (p. 214), as this admirable and inspiring book has already brilliantly succeeded in doing."

Alison Hickey's review in The Review of English Studies 2010 61(248):153-155. Full Review

"James's scholarly and accessible work situates Lamb's early writing in the context of the febrile revolutionary debates of the 1790s […] Among the many delights of this book is its ability to suggest particular times and locations; James is an evocative scene-setter […] James's accomplished and scrupulously documented book builds admirably upon the scholarship of Winifred F. Courtney, Jane Aaron, and Denise Gigante, and extends Lucy Newlyn's work on the relationship between allusion and sociability in romantic writing. […] This study considerably enhances our understanding of the early relationship between Lamb and Coleridge and will be essential reading for any reader interested in Lamb, his circle, or the politics of literary networks in the 1790s."

Tim Milnes's review in Studies in Romanticism 2011 50.4: 722-26.

"Felicity James's book is a significant contribution to our understanding of Lamb and his place in English Romanticism. A model of scholarly erudition conveyed with admirable clarity of style, it is a pleasure to read'."

Robin Schofield's review in The Coleridge Bulletin, New Series 34, Winter 2009: 56-62

Chapters in books

  • ‘Wordsworth the Friend’, The Oxford Handbook of William Wordsworth, ed. Richard Gravil and Daniel Robinson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).
  • ‘Evil, Past and Present, in “Lois the Witch” and Other Short Stories’, Evil and Its Variations in the Works of Elizabeth Gaskell: Sesquicentennial Essays, ed. Mitsuharu Matsuoka (Osaka, JP: Osaka Kyoiku Tosho, 2015).
  • ‘Writing Female Biography: Mary Hays and the Life-Writing of Religious Dissent’, Women's Life Writing, 1700-1850, Gender, Genre and Authorship, ed. Daniel Cook and Amy Culley (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp.117-32.
  • ‘At Home with Jane: Placing Austen in Contemporary Culture’, Uses of Austen: Jane's Afterlives, ed. Gillian Dow and Clare Hanson (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan: 2012), pp.132-53.
  • ‘Lamb the Shakespearean’ in Great Shakespeareans, ed. Adrian Poole (London: Continuum, 2012).
  • ‘“Socinian and Political-Economy Formulas”: Martineau the Unitarian’, in Cora Kaplan and Ella Dzelzainis (eds.), Harriet Martineau: Subjects and Subjectivities (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009)

Journal special issues

  • Cross-Cultural Negotiations: Romanticism, Mobility, and the Orient, Poetica 76 (2011), co-edited with Kaz Oishi. Includes my own essay ‘Thomas Manning, Charles Lamb, and Oriental Encounters’, pp. 21-36.

Online resource

Articles

  • With my colleague Julian North, I edited a special issue of the journal Life Writing on collaborative forms of auto/biography, based on our conference at Leicester in September 2015. See Life Writing, 14:2 (2017), with our jointly written introduction ‘Writing Lives Together: Romantic and Victorian Auto/biography’ (133-138) and my article, ‘Writing the Lives of Dissent: Life Writing, Religion and Community from Edmund Calamy to Elizabeth Gaskell’, 185-197.
  • ‘Lamb’s Essays in The Reflector: A Bicentenary Celebration’, Charles Lamb Bulletin, 156 (2012), pp. 117-158.
  • ‘A Life of Dissent: Harriet Martineau and Unitarianism’, special issue, 'Women and Rational Dissent' ed. Gina Luria Walker and Grayson Ditchfield, Enlightenment and Dissent 26, (2010), pp. 80-112.
  • ‘Twenty First Century Lambs’, Charles Lamb Bulletin, 151 (2010), pp. 54-63. ‘Bibliography of Charles and Mary Lamb, 1998-2010’, Charles Lamb Bulletin, 151 (2010), pp. 64-71. Click here to see this bibliography on the Charles Lamb Society website.
  • ‘A Day in Heaven: Charles Lamb’s reading of The Excursion’ Charles Lamb Bulletin, 149 (2010), pp. 18-27.
  • ‘Lamb and The Adventures of Ulysses’ Charles Lamb Bulletin, 147 (2009), pp. 107-115.
  • ‘Neighbours: Wordsworth and Harriet Martineau’ Charles Lamb Bulletin, 145 (2009), pp. 13-23.
  • ‘Re-reading ‘Resolution and Independence’, Charles Lamb Bulletin 139 (July 2007)
  • ‘Coleridge and the Unitarian Ladies’, Coleridge Bulletin NS 28 (Winter 2006)
  • “‘Wild tales” from Shakespeare: Readings of Charles and Mary Lamb’ Shakespeare, 2.2 (December 2006)
  • ‘Writing in Dissent: the poetry of the Monthly Magazine’, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century 3 (October 2006) http://www.19.bbk.ac.uk
  • ‘Agreement, Dissonance, Dissent: the many conversations of “This Lime-Tree Bower my Prison”’, Coleridge Bulletin NS 26 (Winter 2005)
  • ‘Coleridge and the Fears of Friendship, 1798’, Coleridge Bulletin NS 24 (Winter 2004)
  • ‘“Sweet is thy sunny hair”: an unpublished poem by Charles Lamb’, Charles Lamb Bulletin 127 (July 2004)

I'm the reviewer of works published on Romantic fiction for The Year’s Work in English Studies, and also writes essay reviews for Review of English Studies, Romanticism, Essays in Criticism, The Coleridge Bulletin, The Charles Lamb Bulletin, and for BARS.

‘Wordsworth the Friend’, The Oxford Handbook of William Wordsworth, ed. Richard Gravil and Daniel Robinson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).‘Evil, Past and Present, in “Lois the Witch” and Other Short Stories’, Evil and Its Variations in the Works of Elizabeth Gaskell: Sesquicentennial Essays, ed. Mitsuharu Matsuoka (Osaka, JP: Osaka Kyoiku Tosho, 2015).‘Writing Female Biography: Mary Hays and the Life-Writing of Religious Dissent’, Women's Life Writing, 1700-1850, Gender, Genre and Authorship, ed. Daniel Cook and Amy Culley (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp.117-32.‘At Home with Jane: Placing Austen in Contemporary Culture’, Uses of Austen: Jane's Afterlives, ed. Gillian Dow and Clare Hanson (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan: 2012), pp.132-53.

Research

I work on late eighteenth and early nineteenth century literature, with a particular interest in sociability, friendship and creative exchange amongst writers, and in life-writing.

I have written a number of articles on Charles Lamb and friendship amongst Romantic writers, and my book Charles Lamb, Coleridge and Wordsworth: Reading Friendship in the 1790s was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2008. I have also published on Lamb as a reader and critic of Shakespeare in Great Shakespeareans ed. Adrian Poole (Continuum: 2010).

My current research focuses on Unitarian networks of readers and writers in the Romantic and Victorian periods, including authors such as

  • Mary Hays
  • Anna Laetitia Barbauld
  • the Aikin family
  • Harriet Martineau
  • Elizabeth Gaskell

I am interested in family biographies and life-writing among Dissenters, and how we might read family interactions and writing practices. This is reflected in a collection of essays, Religious Dissent and the Aikin-Barbauld Circle, 1740 to 1860, co-edited with Prof. Ian Inkster published by Cambridge University Press (2011).

I am interested more broadly in the presentation and reception of women writers, and my essay on Jane Austen and Chawton, 'At Home with Jane', was published in Uses of Austen: Jane Austen's Afterlives, ed. Gillian Dow and Clare Hanson (Palgrave: 2012).

I am vice-chairperson of the Charles Lamb Society and reviews editor for the Charles Lamb Bulletin. Each year, I organise a study day relating to Charles Lamb and his circle.

I am a trustee of the Wordsworth Conference Foundation, which holds a winter school and a summer conference, and was a keynote speaker at the summer conference in 2014.

I am on the editorial board of the Gaskell Journal and the University of Strasbourg journal, RANAM.

Projects

I am writing a monograph on dissenting life-writing, particularly among women writers of rational dissent, from Mary Hays to Elizabeth Gaskell. This stems from research undertaken on a British Academy postdoctoral fellowship, on dissent and life-writing.

I have published several articles and essays relating to this research, including pieces on Mary Hays and Harriet Martineau. With Dr Julian North, I organised a conference Writing Lives Together: Romantic and Victorian Biography, held in Leicester on 18 September 2015, which focused on collaborative life-writing in the period and which forms the basis of a special issue of the journal Life-Writing.

This interest in forms of creative community, past and present, also informs my involvement in two AHRC projects. I am taking part in the AHRC-funded major research project 'Understanding Everyday Participation' to understand forms of cultural participation, past and present.

I am also a member of the AHRC funded network Creative Communities 1750-1830, and participated in the 'Faith Communities' Workshop in Leeds, 5-6 April 2013, and 'Regional and National Networks' in Chawton, 24-25 January 2014. I was one of the plenary speakers at Community and its Limits, 1745-1832 at Leeds, 4-6 September 2015.

I am interested in establishing links with international researchers in the long nineteenth century: with other members of the Victorian Studies Centre, I received a UKIERI grant to participate in a staff exchange with Jadavpur University, Kolkata, in April 2012. I delivered a paper there on Amelia Opie and took part in research and teaching workshops.

In July 2011, I held a JSPS Invitation Fellowship hosted by Professor Kaz Oishi at the Graduate School of Letters at the University of Nagoya, as a result of which, Professor Oishi and I jointly edited a volume of the journal Poetica, Cross-Cultural Negotiations: Romanticism, Mobility, and the Orient including my article on Lamb's friend Thomas Manning.

Supervision

I am currently supervising a PhD by Rebecca Shuttleworth under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award scheme, investigating 'Susanna Watts and Elizabeth Heyrick: Women's Writing in the Midlands, 1750-1850'. The second supervisor is Professor Roey Sweet. The starting point of this PhD is a case study of the archival collection of works by Heyrick and Watts in the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland, supervised by archivist Jess Jenkins.

I am also currently supervising a PhD by Margriet Schippers on Elizabeth Gaskell and citizenship, and would welcome postgraduate students with research interests in any of the following:

  • Charles Lamb, Charles Lloyd, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and their circle
  • Anna Letitia Barbauld and her circle
  • Writing of the 1790s
  • Romanticism and religious Dissent in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (including but not limited to Unitarianism)
  • Life-writing, biography and autobiography in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

I sit on several thesis committees, and have examined M.Litt and PhD theses for the Open University, the University of Birmingham and the Sorbonne.

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