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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 ‘On Nervousness’ (c. 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

  • Co-organiser of Reading Romanticism @ UoN, a group in which we discuss Romantic period literature, film, and TV; designed for PGRs and MA students in the School of English.

Other Research Interests

    I am interested in the long nineteenth century (1780-1918):
    • The Keats-Shelley and Byron literary circles.
    • Eighteenth and nineteenth century Gothic fiction.
    • Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin.
    • Romantic legacies, particularly in the Victorian period and in the poetry of the First World War.
    • Letitia Elizabeth Landon and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
    • The life and literary works of the Brontë siblings.


            • Member of British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) January 2021 - 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).