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Amy Wilcockson

Languages and Literature, University of Nottingham

Thesis title:

A scholarly edition of the letters of the Scottish Romantic poet, Thomas Campbell (1777-1844).

This thesis will produce the first scholarly edition of the letters of Thomas Campbell, the Scottish Romantic poet. As the author of the bestselling poem The Pleasures of Hope (1799) and holder of a prominent public office (Rector of Glasgow University), Campbell was a significant figure to his contemporaries, but has been strangely neglected ever since.

The project aims to counter Campbell’s neglect by transcribing original manuscripts in order to edit and annotate his letters, thus revealing new information about his life, works, and networks, and through the completion of two introductory chapters, which will: (i) explore how and why Campbell was forgotten and what recuperating him will add to current knowledge and understanding of British Romanticism and of canon formation; and (ii) demonstrate how his letters, sent to a wide range of correspondents from disparate backgrounds, are key to understanding both Campbell’s own career and involvement in wider Romantic period sociability.

Research Area

  • Languages and Literature



  • '"Lays of the Octopods (The last of the Octopods)": An Unpublished Poem by Edward Lear', Notes & Queries, 67.1 (March 2020), pp. 120-2. [Co-authored with Dr Edmund Downey].
  • 'Thomas Campbell', The Literary Encyclopedia, First published 07 September 2020.
  • 'The Romantic Reputation of John Keats', History Today, February 2021. [print and online].
  • 'Humour in the Letters of Thomas Campbell', Romanticism (forthcoming).

Book Reviews:

  • Review of Robin Schofield's The Vocation of Sara Coleridge: Authorship and Religion (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), for The BARS Review, No. 53 (2019).
  • Review of Madeleine Callaghan's Shelley's Living Artistry: Letters, Poems, Plays (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2017), for The Byron Journal, 48.1 (2020), pp. 82-4.
  • Review of Sarah Zimmerman's The Romantic Literary Lecture in Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), for Romanticism (forthcoming)
  • Review of Madeleine Callaghan and Anthony Howe (eds.), Romanticism and the Letter (Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), for The Byron Journal (forthcoming). 


Blog Posts:

Conference Reports:


  • 'Scottish Romanticisms' - UoN Romanticism, University of Nottingham, March 2019.
  • 'Thomas Campbell and the "authorless" New Monthly Magazine' – The 1820s: Innovation and Diffusion conference, University of Glasgow, April 2019. Bursary received from The Bibliographic Society.
  • 'A weary heap of good-for-nothing evidence': The Letters of Thomas Campbell – 'Romantic Facts and Fantasies', British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) Conference, University of Nottingham, July 2019. 
  • 'Humour in the Letters of Thomas Campbell' – Humour and Satire in British Romanticism, Durham University, September 2019. 
  • 'The 1820s: Thomas Campbell's "Last" Decade' – Late Romanticism: Past and Present, KU Leuven, December 2019. 
  • 'The Case for Thomas Campbell' – Romantic Futurities BARS PGR/ECR Conference, June 2020.
  • ‘Thomas Campbell and his Correspondence’ – BSECS Postgraduate and Early Career Seminar Series January 2021.
  • 'Health and Grief in the Letters of Thomas Campbell' – Personal Correspondence in English, 1400-Present Conference, University of Northampton, April 2020.

Public Engagement & Impact

  • Editor of the D.H. Lawrence Society Newsletter.
  • Co-curator of the 'Romantic Facts and Fantasies: Culture and Heritage of the Romantic Age, c. 1780-1840' exhibition, May-August 2019, Weston Gallery at Lakeside Arts Centre, University of Nottingham.
  • Co-organiser of British Association of Romantic Studies (BARS) Conference, 25-29th July 2019, University of Nottingham. 
  • Co-organiser of UoN Romanticism; a reading group interested in discussing a wide range of writers and texts from the Romantic literary period for PGR, ECR and other researchers.
  • Research Assistant for Professor Donald Ulin's collected edition of the letters of Emma Alderson, Writing Home. Duties included proof-reading, transcription and editorial work on the collection. 
  • Book Reviews Editor for Journal of Languages, Texts, and Society, University of Nottingham.
  • Third Year PGR Representative on the Learning Community Forum, University of Nottingham.
  • Communications Fellow 2020/21 for Keats-Shelley Association of America. Duties include creating innovative content, plus writing, editing, and uploading posts to blog and website, and posting on social media channels. 
  • Social Media Coordinator for London Nineteenth Century Graduate Strand Conference, January 2021.
  • Lead Organiser for Archival Discoveries and Discussions afternoon workshop for PGR/ECRs, delivered 25 February 2021. 
  • Co-organiser of Romantic Reputations PGR/ECR Symposium, delivered 16 April 2021.

 Public Talks and Seminars:

  • 'Romantic Reputations' public talk in collaboration with fellow M4C researcher, Ruby Hawley-Sibbett, as part of the 'Romantic Facts and Fantasies: Culture and Heritage of the Romantic Age, c. 1780-1840' exhibition programme, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham, July 2019. This talk was a free ticketed event, attended by 200 people, and broadcast on a Facebook live stream with over 600 views.
  • Thomas Campbell: The Forgotten Romantic Poet', public hour-long lecture for Newstead Byron Society, November 2019. 
  • 'The Rise and Fall of Thomas Campbell', public hour-long lecture for Centre of Eighteenth-Century Studies, University of York, February 2020.
  • 'Navigating the Archive: Developing Research Methods', workshop leader for two one-hour workshops for Distance2020 Conference, Universities of York and Melbourne, August 2020. I was the only PGR invited to lead a session, alongside four established academics. 
  • 'Nottingham's Forgotten Rebel: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu', invited speaker for Explore Your Archive Week, Inspire Culture, November 2020. 
  • 'Romanticism and the Museum', invited speaker for British Association of Romantic Studies (BARS) Digital Event seminar series, March 2021. 
  • 'Romantic Reputations', invited speaker for History Week, Inspire Culture, March 2021.

Other Research Interests

  • Letters and life-writing, epistolary works and fiction.
  • Canon formation and non-canonical Romantic authors and poets, including women, working class and regional writers.
  • Periodicals, journal culture and magazines of the Romantic period, particularly The New Monthly Magazine and The Metropolitan
  • Scottish Romanticism, including Sir Walter Scott. 
  • George Gordon Byron, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, their lives and their circle. 
  • Literary 'rebels', including John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
  • Regional and Nottinghamshire writers, including Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and D.H. Lawrence.
  • Nonsense Poetry, including Edward Lear.


  • Early Career Member of the Royal Historical Society (RHS). 
  • Member of the British Association of Romantic Studies (BARS).
  • Member of the British Society of Victorian Studies (BAVS). 
  • Member of the Newstead Byron Society. 
  • Member of the Byron Society. 
  • Member of the Keats-Shelley Association of America (K-SAA).
  • Member of British Association for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS).
  • Member of Museums Association.

Scholarships and Prizes

  • Midlands3Cities Fully Funded Doctoral Studentship Award, Arts and Humanities Research Council (2018-2021)

  • School of English Fully Funded MA Scholarship, University of Nottingham (2017-2018)

  • School of English Community Award Prize (for student who has made greatest impact in the community through outreach and public engagement work), University of Nottingham (2017)

  • Bibliographic Society Bursary (March 2019)

  • Universities Committee for Scottish Literature (UCSL) – British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) Scottish Romanticism Research Award winner for 2019 - £300 prize

  • Scottish Historical Review Trust COVID Bursary (February 2021)

Funding Bids

  • Archival Discoveries and Discussions Afternoon workshops, 25 February 2021. Awarded £648.00.
  • Romantic Reputations PGR/ECR Symposium, postponed due to Covid-19 to 16th April 2021. Awarded £814.95.
  • Research Placement at Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire. Awarded £2,272.15.
  • Numerous research trips (including to the USA) funded by the AHRC.