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Amber Vella

Languages and Literature, University of Leicester

Thesis title:

Experiencing Pregnancy in Georgian Britain: Representations and Realities

Women’s experience of pregnancy, and the myriad ways in which women themselves create narratives around this, has been overlooked in contrast to the cultural and social framing of pregnancy and birthing. As such, this thesis will address representations and realities of pregnancy in Georgian Britain, focusing on how women expressed and narrated their own pregnancies. Engaging with a range of historical and literary material, such as medical treatises, patient case-notes, periodicals, novels, letters and biography, my research will examine how women in the period 1714-1837 experienced pregnancy, and how this experience engaged with contemporary literature, as well as how it was shaped by it. This project will demonstrate that Georgian women were articulate in conveying and recording their experience in varied ways.

Research Area

  • Languages and Literature

Other Research Interests

  • Motherhood 
  • Eighteenth-Century Charities
  • Eighteenth-Century Women Writers
  • Eighteenth-Century Prostitution
  • Life-Writing
  • Victorian Literature
  • Letters and Correspondence 


  • History Lab

Scholarships and Prizes

  • College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Masters Excellence Scholarship.
  • Dr Wallace Henry Prize; awarded to the final-year undergraduate English student with the highest average across second- and third-year modules.
  • Waddington Prize; awarded to the three final year undergraduate English students with the highest mark.

Academic Profile

2019 – 2020: University of Leicester, English Studies MA - TBC

Dissertation: The Magdalen House in Eighteenth-Century Literature: Penitent Prostitutes, Public Response, and Literary Representations.

2016 – 2019: University of Leicester, English BA – First Class Honours

Dissertation: The Role of Mistresses in The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless (1751): Virtue, Value, Desire and Disposal.