Dr Victoria Stewart

Personal details | Publications | Research | Teaching | Supervision | Media

Reader in Modern and Contemporary Literature

stewart, victoria

Department: English

Telephone: +44 (0) 116 252 2634

Email: vas6@le.ac.uk

Office: Room 1314, Attenborough Tower

Address: School of Arts, University of Leicester, University Road,Leicester, LE1 7RH

Personal details


My teaching and research focus on modern and contemporary British writing.


  • BA Hons, University of Sheffield
  • MA, University of Leeds
  • PhD, University of Leeds



Journal articles

  • 'Objects, Things and Clues in Early Twentieth-Century Fiction', Modernist Cultures, 14.2 (2019): 172-92
  • 'Crimes and War Crimes: William Hodge & Co and the Public Understanding of the Holocaust in Post-World War II Britain', Law & Literature 31.1 (2019): 113-27
  • 'Glimpsing the Holocaust in post-war British Detective Fiction', Patterns of Prejudice, 53. 1 (2019): 74-85
  • 'Writing and Reading Diaries in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain', Literature and History, 27.1 (2018): 47-61
  • '"Commando Consciousness" and Criminality in post-Second World War Fiction', Journal of War and Culture Studies, 10.2 (2017): 165-77
  • 'The Second World War in Contemporary Women's Fiction: Revisiting the Home Front', Contemporary Women's Writing 9.3 (2015): 416-432
  • 'Representing Nazi Crimes in post-Second World War life writing', Textual Practice, 29.7 (2015): 1131-1330
  • 'Defining Detective Fiction in Interwar Britain', The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945, 9.1 (2013): 101-18
  • 'The Woman Writer in Mid-Twentieth Century Middlebrow Fiction: Conceptualizing Creativity' Journal of Modern Literature, 35.1 (2011): 21-36
  • 'True-Crime Narratives and Detective Fiction in Interwar Britain', Clues: A Journal of Detection 29.2 (2011): 16-29
  • ‘Spiritualism, Detective Fiction and the Aftermath of War’, Clues: A Journal of Detection 27.2 (2009): 75-84
  • 'A Word in your Ear: Mediumship and Subjectivity in Hilary Mantel's Beyond Black'. Critique 50.3 (2009): 293-312
  • 'Violence and Representation in Elizabeth Bowen's Interwar Short Stories'English58.221 (2009): 139-59
  • 'Middlebrow Psychology in Gilbert Frankau’s Novels of the 1930s’, Working Papers on the Web 11 (2008)
  • 'Realism, Modernism and the Representation of Memory in Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle', Studies in the Novel 40.3 (2008): 328-43
  • 'J. W. Dunne and Literary Culture in the 1930s and 1940s', Literature and History17.2 (2008): 62-81
  • The Last War: the Legacy of the First World War in 1940s British Fiction’, in Jessica Meyer, ed., British Popular Culture and the First World War (Brill, 2008): 259-81
  • '"That Eternal Now": Memory and Subjectivity in Elizabeth Bowen’s Seven Winters’, Modern Fiction Studies, 53.2 (Summer 2007): 334-50
  • '"The Big War Outside and the Little War at Home": Anamnesis and the Second World War in Recent British Fiction’, English, 54.210 (Autumn 2005): 209-24
  • '“War Memoirs of the Dead”: Writing and Remembrance in the First World War’, Literature and History 14.2 (Autumn 2005): 37-52. Translated into Russian by A. Volodinov and K. Korchagina and published in New Literary Observer Special Issue on The Semiotics of August in the 20th Century 116 (2012): 294-307
  • ‘Holocaust Diaries: Writing from the Abyss’, Forum for Modern Language Studies, 41.4 (2005): 418-26
  • 'Q.D. Leavis: Women and Education under Scrutiny’, Literature and History, 13.2 (Autumn 2004): 67-85
  • 'The Auditory Uncanny in Graham Greene’s The Ministry of Fear’, Textual Practice, 18.1 (2004): 65-81
  • '"I may have misrecalled everything”: John Banville’s The Untouchable’, English, 52.204 (Autumn 2003): 237-51
  • 'Anne Frank and the Uncanny’, Paragraph 24.1 (2001): 99-113
  • Dramatic Justice: The Aftermath of the Holocaust in Ronald Harwood’s Taking Sides’, Modern Drama, XLIII.1 (May/June 2000): 1-12
  • A Theatre of Uncertainty:  Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen’, New Theatre Quarterly, XV.4 (November 1999): 301-07

Book chapters

  • 'Old Haunts: Childhood and Home in Postwar Fiction', in Gill Plain ed., British Literature in Transition :1940-1960 Postwar (Cambridge University Press, 2019): pp. 267-81
  • 'Mid-Twentieth-Century Stories', in Ann-Marie Einhaus, ed., The Cambridge Companion to the English Short Story (Cambridge University Press, 2016): 115-27
  • '"A bomb made of words": Letter-Writing in Fictions of the Second World War' in Petra Rau, ed., Long Shadows: The Second World War in British Fiction and Film (Northwestern University Press, 2016): 221-240.
  • 'The Second World War in British Drama since 1968' in Adam Piette and Mark Rawlinson, eds., The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century British and American War Literature (Edinburgh University Press, 2012): 118-125
  • 'Masculinity, Masquerade and the Second World War: Betty Miller's On the Side of the Angels'  in Petra Rau, ed., Conflict, Nationhood and Corporeality in Modern Literature: Bodies-at-War (Palgrave, 2010): 124-42
  • 'An Experiment with Narrative?  Rumer Godden's A Fugue in Time' in Lucy Le Guilcher and Phyllis B. Lassner, eds., Rumer Godden: International and Intermodern Storyteller (Ashgate, 2010): 81-93
  • 'Brittain's Holtby' in Lisa Regan, ed., Winifred Holtby: A Woman in Her Time (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010): 35-50
  • The Other War: Christopher Priest’s The Separation’ in Andrew M. Butler, ed., Christopher Priest: The Interaction (Science Fiction Foundation, 2005): 115-28
  • Writing Trauma:  Charlotte Delbo and the Struggle to Represent’, in Anne Whitehead and Michael Rossington, eds., Between the Psyche and the Polis: Refiguring History in Literature and Theory (Ashgate, 2001): 97-107


My research interests include the twentieth-century and contemporary novel, war writing and life-writing. My book Women’s Autobiography: War and Trauma (Palgrave, 2003) considered the work of writers including Vera Brittain, Virginia Woolf and Anne Frank from the perspective of trauma theory. Narratives of Memory: British Writing of the 1940s (Palgrave, 2006) examined a range of novels and short fiction by authors such as Elizabeth Bowen, Graham Greene and Patrick Hamilton.The Second World War in Contemporary British Fiction: Secret Histories (Edinburgh University Press, 2011) explored the use of secrecy as both a trope and a narrative device in recent fictional treatments of the war. My most recent book, Crime Writing in Interwar Britain: Fact and Fiction in the Golden Age (Cambridge University Press, 2017), examines the relationship between true-crime narratives and detective fiction in the 1920s and 1930s, with a focus on the writing of Dorothy L. Sayers, Marie Belloc Lowndes and F. Tennyson Jesse. My current book project brings together my interests in crime writing and representations of the aftermath of the Second World War: Crimes and War Crimes: Literature and Justice in Mid-Twentieth Century Britain will be published in the Oxford University Press Mid-Century Studies Series in 2022.

I am a member of WAR-Net, a network on war and representation, and also of the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust Studies, at the University of Leicester.My work on middlebrow writing has been fostered by my involvement in the AHRC Middlebrow Network, The Space Between Society, and the Contemporary Women's Writing Association. I serve on the editorial board for the monograph series 'Literary Texts and the Popular Marketplace', published by Pickering & Chatto.



I would welcome inquiries from prospective research students interested in working in the following areas:

  • Writing from and about the First and Second World Wars
  • Holocaust Writing
  • Mid 20th-Century Novel
  • Non-canonical Authors, the ‘Middlebrow’, and Detective Fiction


I contributed to the Radio 3 documentary 'I Have Been Here Before', first broadcast in September 2014, about the legacy of the interwar time theorist JW Dunne, presented by Francis Spufford and produced by Mark Burman. Download the podcast.

I took part in a discussion on Radio 4's A Good Read to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

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