Dr Julian North

Associate Professor of English

School/Department: Arts, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2776



I am an Associate Professor in Romantic and Victorian Literature. I read English as an undergraduate at St. Hugh’s College Oxford where I also studied for my DPhil. during which time I was a Senior Scholar of the college. Before coming to the English Department at the University of Leicester I held posts as a Lecturer at the University of Reading and a Senior Lecturer at De Montfort University. My doctorate was on the work of Thomas De Quincey who spanned the Romantic and Victorian periods in British Literature and my research has continued to range across and challenge these boundaries. As well as editing and publishing on the work of De Quincey I have published widely on ‘life writing’ in the period often on the biographical afterlives of nineteenth-century writers. My interest in biographical media has extended to film and the visual arts and to my research on portraiture and the author’s image. I am the co-editor with Professor Joanne Shattock of Routledge’s Nineteenth-Century Series


My research bridges Romantic and Victorian literature with special interests in:

life-writing (biography and autobiography)

visual culture especially portraiture

the afterlives of the Romantic poets

the life and writings of Thomas De Quincey

My publications include

The Domestication of Genius: Biography and the Romantic Poet (Oxford University Press 2009) which explores the biographical afterlives of the Romantic poets and the creation of literary biography as a popular form. It focuses on the first lives of Byron P. B. Shelley Wordsworth Coleridge Felicia Hemans and Letitia Landon published from the 1820s in the context of the development of biography as a genre from the 1780s to the 1840s. I co-edited with Dr. Felicity James a special issue of the Journal Life Writing 17.2 (June 2017). I edited vol. 11 and co-edited vol. 20 of The Works of Thomas De Quincey 21 vols gen. ed. Grevel Lindop (London: Pickering and Chatto 2000-2003). I am currently working on 'Author Portraits' a book exploring visual and verbal portraits of Victorian authors including Byron Dickens Charlotte Bronte and Mary Seacole.


The Domestication of Genius: Biography and the Romantic Poet (Oxford University Press, 2009)

Editor of volume 11 and co-editor of volume 20 of The Works of Thomas De Quincey, 21 vols, gen. ed. Grevel Lindop (Pickering and Chatto, 2000-2003)

'Recollections, Conversations and Biography of Lord Byron', in Byron in Context, edited by Clara Tuite (Cambridge University Press,  2019)

'How to be an Author: Literary Biography c.1830-1880', Blackwell Companion to Literary Biography, edited by Richard Bradford (Wiley/Blackwell, 2019): 45-61

'Lake Poets', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (published online 9 May 2018)

Editor, with Felicity James, of Special Issue: 'Writing Lives Together: Romantic and Victorian Auto/biography', Life Writing, 17.2 (June 2017)

'Intertextual Sociability in Victorian Lives of the Romantic poets: Thomas De Quincey's Lake Reminiscences and Edward John Trelawny's Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron', Life Writing, 17.2 (June 2017): 155-69

'Appearing before the Public: Charlotte Brontë and the Author Portrait in the 1830s', Brontë Studies 41.1 (2016): 60-74

'Portraying Presence: Thomas Carlyle, Portraiture and Biography', Victorian Literature and Culture, 43.3 (March 2015): 465-88

'Romantic Genius on Screen: Jane Campion's Bright Star and Julien Temple's Pandaemonium', in The Writer on Film: Screening Literary Authorship, edited by Judith Buchanan (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2013): 77-91


I supervise MA and PhD work in nineteenth-century literature. I welcome the opportunity to supervise topics in the following areas:

Romantic and Victorian literature especially biographical or autobiographical writing in the period c.1790-1930

biographical projects

nineteenth-century literary and visual culture (especially portraiture)

authorship and the author's image in the nineteenth century

nineteenth-century authors e.g. Mary Shelley Thomas De Quincey Thomas Carlyle the Brontes


Undergraduate teaching

EN2131 Gothic (Convenor)

EN3010 Compulsory Dissertation

EN3158 Jane Austen: Novels Contexts Adaptations (Convenor)

EN3028 Victorians (15 credit) EN3328 Victorians (30 credit)

Postgraduate teaching

EN7021 Approaches to Victorian Literature and Culture

EN7128 The Brontes (Convenor) EN7125 Victorian Lives (Convenor)

EN7112 Editing and Textual Cultures

EN7001 Research Methods and Writing Skills 

Press and media


nineteenth-century authors and their images especially Byron Dickens the Brontes Mary Seacole; Jane Austen De Quincey.

Media coverage

I was the laudanum advisor for ‘Beecham House’ (ITV forthcoming 2019). I interviewed the television writer Sally Wainwright on her film about the Brontes at the Literary Leicester Festival (November 2016) and the Booker Prize-winning author Alan Hollinghurst at the Literary Leicester Festival (November 2011). I have been interviewed by BBC Radio 3 on De Quincey; on Wordsworth and De Quincey at Dove Cottage for a video made by the Open University; and on Romantic and Victorian Poetry for a video made by Cromwell Productions


BA Hons English Language and Literature University of Oxford

DPhil. University of Oxford


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