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School of English and Drama

Professor Margaret Reynolds, MA (Oxford) PhD (London)


Professor of English and Modern Culture



I was born in Australia but did my first degree at Oxford and my PhD at London University. My thesis was a critical edition of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s verse novel Aurora Leigh which had been a ‘forgotten’ text re-discovered by important feminist critics like Cora Kaplan. My Ohio University Press edition of this work won the British Academy’s Rose Mary Crawshay Prize in 1993.  I have taught at the University of Leeds, at King’s College, London, at Birmingham University and I was a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge where I am a Life Member.  With Angela Leighton (Trinity College, Cambridge) I edited an anthology Victorian Women Poets (1999).  My other work includes The Sappho Companion  (2000), The Sappho History  (2003) and the Penguin edition of George Eliot’s Adam Bede (2008).  I write for The Guardian and The Times.  I worked for a year as a writer for BBC Radio 3 and 4 and I was the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Adventures in Poetry. I specialise in C19th-C21st literature and culture and have appeared at many literary festivals across the UK and in Australia. Until 2022 I was a Trustee of London’s Foundling Museum. In 2021 I published a memoir about adopting my daughter The Wild Track.  

Undergraduate Teaching

I have taught on:

  • ESH227: Text, Art, and Performance in London
  • ESH274: Writing Now
  • ESH382: Reading Childhood/Writing Children


Research Interests:

  • C18-21 literature
  • Poetry
  • Transmission of Classics
  • Imagination of adoption


Notable Publications:

ed., George Eliot, Adam Bede (London: Penguin, 2008)

The Sappho History (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2003)

Vintage Living Texts: The Essential Guide (with Jonathan Noakes),14 titles: Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Toni Morrison, AS Byatt, Iris Murdoch, Roddy Doyle, Susan Hill, Sebastian Faulks, Ian McEwan, Jeanette Winterson, American Fiction, Martin Amis, Louis de Bernieres, John Fowles (London: Vintage, 2002-)

The Sappho Companion (London: Chatto and Windus, 2000)

with Angela Leighton, eds, Victorian Women Poets: An Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995)

See also my Queen Mary Research Publications profile.


I would welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in any of the areas of my research.

I have recently supervised the following successful PhD projects:

  • Sinead O’Neill, 'A History of Opera in Performance: Verdi’s Macbeth at Glyndebourne, 1938 to 2007' (2010)
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