M4C Logo AHRC Logo

Molly Watson

Languages and Literature, University of Nottingham

Thesis title:

Motherhood, Children and Loss in the Works of Sara Coleridge and Mary Shelley, 1820-44

This thesis will explore themes of motherhood and loss in a group of hitherto relatively unexplored writings by Sara Coleridge and Mary Shelley, including: Coleridge’s Phantasmion (1837), Pretty Lessons in Verse for Good Children (1834), and Shelley’s Proserpine (1820), Maurice (1820), and Rambles in Germany and Italy (1844). 

The project will contribute to an understanding of three areas identified by scholars as crucial to a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of Romantic period culture: women’s writing; literature for and about children; and ‘late Romanticism’ (i.e., British literary culture of the 1820s-1840s). 

Research Area

  • English Language and Literature
  • Languages and Literature


Blog posts:


  • 'Percy Shelley's Gothic (Dis)connections' - British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) Disconnections/Reconnections, August 2021.
  • 'Occultism, Demonology and the Dead in Percy Shelley's Gothic Fiction' - University of Huddersfield Research Festival, June 2021.
  • 'Arising from the state of intellectual sickliness and lethargy': A Re-evaluation of Percy Shelley's Gothic Fiction' - Romantic Reputations, April 2021.
  • 'Radical Shelley? The Victorian Myth' - London Nineteenth-Century Studies Seminar Graduate Strand (LNCSSGS) 'Struggle, Upheaval, Transformation', January 2021.
  • '(Im)mortality and the Female Muse in the Poetry of John Keats' - BARS Romantic Futurities, June 2020.

Public Engagement & Impact

  • Former co-organiser of A New Chapter @UoN, a reading group for English PGRs.

Other Research Interests

I am interested in the long nineteenth century (1780-1918):
  • The Keats-Shelley and Byron literary circles
  • Romantic child-authors (e.g., Mary Shelley, Sara, Hartley and Derwent Coleridge, William Godwin Jr., Dora Wordsworth, etc)
  • Children's literature/literature about childhood
  • Late Romanticism (1820s-50s)
  • Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin
  • Death and disease (including dark tourism, thanatourism and necrotourism)
  • Gothic fiction
  • Romantic legacies, particularly in the poetry of the First World War (Wilfred Owen)
  • John Milton and Romantic receptions of Miltonic poetry
  • The Brontë siblings (including Branwell!)
  • Russian fiction (particularly Dostoevsky and Tolstoy)
  • Michael Field
  • Ada Lovelace


  • Member of British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS), January 2021-present.
  • Member of British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS), January 2022 - present.
  • Member of British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS), January 2022 - present. 
  • Member of The Friends of Coleridge, January 2023 - present.
  • Member of The Charles Lamb Society, January 2023 - present.
  • Member of The Byron Society, January 2023 - present.

Scholarships and Prizes

  • Midlands4Cities AHRC Doctoral Studentship Award (2021-25).
  • Vice-Chancellor's Fee Waiver Scholarship for MRes, University of Huddersfield (2020-21).
  • Best Overall Performance Award for English Literature at the University of Huddersfield, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
  • Execellence Scholarship at the University of Huddersfield (2017-20).