Skip to main content
School of English and Drama

Dr Charlotte Jones


Leverhulme Early Career Fellow



I joined Queen Mary in September 2020, after teaching at King’s College London and St Hilda’s College, Oxford. I completed my PhD at University College London in 2017. I’m currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow working on anarchist politics and the modern novel.


I don’t currently teach at Queen Mary but I am very happy to speak to undergraduate or postgraduate students interested in pursuing research in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. My own areas of expertise include realism, modernism, political history, and Left literary culture.


Research Interests:

  • 19th and 20th century literature, culture and intellectual history
  • Anarchism, socialism and radical left literary cultures
  • Philosophy, politics and aesthetics of realism
  • Sociology of literature

Recent and On-Going Research

My research interests centre on the novel, genre and form, especially histories of aesthetic forms and the roles these play in broader histories of knowledge. My first book reconsiders literary realism via the legacy of its philosophical pre-history, to ask how – or if – we can conceptualise realist novels when the objects of their representational intentions are realities that might exist beyond what is empirically verifiable by sense data or analytically verifiable by logic, and are thus irreducible to representation. How, in short, realism represents the unrepresentable, and poses metaphysical questions through an exploration of the here and now. The book examines a range of novels from the early twentieth century, focusing on works by Joseph Conrad, May Sinclair, Arnold Bennett, H.G. Wells and Ford Madox Ford, to see how they grapple with the fiendish recalcitrance of “reality”.

My next project traces the influence of anarchist intellectual traditions on fiction of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It examines the modes of transmission through which anarchist writings, libertarian and communitarian, influence both the forms that organise political experience and conceptualisations of the novel as a modeller of social networks, in order to probe larger questions about the intelligibility of extended collective belonging in the face of an increasingly abstract – spatially diffuse, technologically mediated – social world.



  • Realism, Form and Representation in the Edwardian Novel (Oxford University Press, 2021) 



  • ‘“This spasm upon canvas”: George Eliot, Gustave Courbet, and realist aesthetics’, Journal of Victorian Culture 26.2 (April 2021), 244–266  
  • ‘An Edwardian Turn of Mind: Psychological Realism and Modernist Metaphysics in May Sinclair’s The Divine Fire’, Modernism/modernity 25.1 (January 2018), 93–144 


Chapters in books

  • ‘Pandæmonium as Parallax: Metropolitan Underworlds and Anarchist Clubs in Nineteenth-Century London and its Literature’, The Literature of Hell: Essays and Studies 2021, ed. Margaret Kean (Boydell & Brewer, 2021), 37–68 
  • ‘Impressions of modernity: May Sinclair, Ford Madox Ford and the First World War’, in Between the Victorian/Modernist Divide: Remapping the Turn-of-the-Century Break in Literature, Culture and the Visual Arts, ed. Anne Besnault-Levita and Anne-Florence Gillard-Estrada (Routledge, 2018), 69–81 
  • ‘Representing Shell-shock: A Return to Ford Madox Ford and Rebecca West’, in War and the Mind: Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End, Modernism and Psychology, ed. Rob Hawkes and Ashley Chanter (Edinburgh University Press, 2015), 127–141 
  • ‘Gender, Biopolitics, Bildungsroman’, in A New Age? British Literature in Transition, Vol. 1: 1900–1920, ed. James Purdon (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2021) 

Public Engagement

‘“Renovate, dod gast you, renovate!”: where next for modernist studies?’, King’s English Blog, 23 March 2020

‘The cultural impact of World War 1 in Britain’, Suite (212), Resonance FM

I used to work as Contributing Editor for the Guardian children’s books site.

Back to top