Dr Steven Taylor

Teaching Fellow in the History of Poverty and MedicineDr Steven Taylor

  • Tel:
  • Email: sjt48@le.ac.uk
  • Office:  2.02, 7 Salisbury Road
  • Office hours: Semester 1 – Monday 12-2; Wednesday 2-3.
  • Research day: Friday


I obtained my PhD in the History of Medicine from the University of Leicester in 2015, having previously completed degrees at SOAS, University of London (MA) and University College Northampton (BA (hons)). I returned to the University of Leicester after completing a short-term contract at the Centre for Health Histories, University of Huddersfield. Additionally, I am an online editor for the H-Childhood list and I have been a long-suffering Spurs fan for over 25 years.

Research Interests

Research interests span the period from the seventeenth to twentieth century and cover topics as varied as mental illness and childhood through to regional development and conceptual notions of perfection/imperfection.  In particular my work has focused on reactions to childhood poverty and sickness.  I am currently working on two projects that are at differing stages of development.  These are:

(i)    Vulnerable Childhoods: A New Paradigm. This project explores the conceptual constructions of childhood across the period 1800-2000.  It focuses on the emergence of a romantic and innocent discourse of childhood and how this in turn created a hitherto unexamined ‘pathological’ childhood for the destitute, impaired, and vulnerable.  The research specifically examines the increased visibility and awareness of children in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries by focusing on the perceptions of parents, philanthropists, teachers, and doctors.  The premise for this work has been acknowledged by the award of a substantial Research Bursary from the Wellcome Trust.

(ii)    Uncertain Futures: Unaccompanied Child Migration to Canada, 1870-1970. This research conducts life-course analyses of children sent as migrants to Canada in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.  The project has received a Scouloudi Historical Award and a small grant from the Foundation for Canadian Studies in the UK.  These prizes have been used to conduct archival research at various British archives, the Archives of Ontario, and the University of Toronto.  At present this project is being developed for an AHRC Early Career Research Grant application.



Steven J. Taylor, Child Insanity in England, 1845-1907, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2016).

Steven J. Taylor, Child Insanity in England, 1845-1907, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2016).

Steven J. Taylor, ‘Depraved, Deprived, Dangerous and Deviant: Depicting the Insane Child in England’s County Asylums, 1845-1907’, History, vol. 101/347 (2016), pp.513-535.

Steven J. Taylor, ‘Poverty, Emigration and Family: Experiencing Childhood Poverty in Late-Nineteenth-Century Manchester’, Family and Community History, vol.18/2, (2015), pp.89-103.

Steven J. Taylor, ‘Insanity, Philanthropy and Emigration:  Dealing with Insane Children in Late-Nineteenth-Century North-West England’, History of Psychiatry, vol.25/2, (2014), pp.224-236.

Steven J. Taylor, ‘“All his ways are those of an idiot”:  The admission, treatment of and social reaction to two ‘idiot’ children of the Northampton Pauper Lunatic Asylum, 1877-1883’, Family and Community History, vol. 15/1, (2012), pp. 34-43.


I teach on the following courses:-

Semester 1:
Making History (HS1000)
Perceiving the Past (HS2400)
Poverty and Welfare, 1597 to the Present  (HS3757)

Semester 2:
People and Places (HS1100)
Medical History (HS2240)
Poverty and Welfare, 1597 to the Present (HS3758)

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