Dr Jane E Wright

MA (Leeds), PhD (Cantab)

  • BS8 1TB

Personal profile

Research interests

My research focuses on poetry and poetics of the nineteenth century. Poets I have written about include Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, and Gerard Manley Hopkins. In recent essays I’ve been examining the poetical history of bees as figures for the poet and how she works. You can hear me talking about the literary salience of bees, alongside experts in biology and apiculture, in an episode of Radio 4’s Natural Histories programme, ‘Bee’.

Poetry's what I most often write about, but I’m also interested in the formal and stylistic features of prose and have written on prose works by authors including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thomas Carlyle, Matthew Arnold, and Oscar Wilde.

I have edited a volume of essays on Coleridge's Afterlives (2008) with James Vigus (QMUL), and I am currently engaged in two collaborative projects on allusion, one a volume of essays entitled Poetic Allusion in the Long Nineteenth Century, co-edited with James Williams (University of York).

Other interests include rhetoric, aesthetic philosophy (from ancient classical writers through to the nineteenth century), nineteenth-century versions of the ancient quarrel, Victorian forms of poetical faith, and, relatedly, the poetical fortunes of sincerity as a principle of success or standard of judgement.

I’m a life member of The Tennyson Society (which I love) and member of the Editorial Board. You can find out about The Tennyson Society here, and you can access a fascinating free series of ‘Global Tennyson Talks’, delivered on Zoom by a group of leading international scholars, here.

I have supervised two prize-winning PhD students (working on Tennyson) and advised many more. I welcome research proposals on any aspect of nineteenth-century poetry, and/or on the following authors: Jane Austen, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, George Eliot, Arthur Hugh Clough, Matthew Arnold, C. G. Rossetti, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Michael Field (aka Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper).

Contact details

Room 2.15, 3-5 Woodland Rd.   Tel: +44(0)117 92 89196.   Email: [email protected]


I have taught literature, from 1550 to the present, across a wide range of units. Recently taught units include:

  • Approaches to Poetry (level 1)
  • Literature 1740-1900 (level 2)
  • Aesthetic Possibilities (level 3 / MA)
  • Victorian Materialities (level 3 / MA)
  • Victorian Literature and Place (MA)
  • Animal Planet: Humans and Other Animals in Modernity (MA)

In 2008, I received the Bristol Faculty of Arts 'Rising Star Award' for excellence in teaching, and in 2010 I was student-nominated a 'Best of Bristol' lecturer. In 2017, I was nominated in the Outstanding Teaching category of the Bristol Student-led Teaching Awards.

Academic service

Since 2006, I have served on many committees, panels, and working parties at Department, School, Faculty, and University levels. I have convened units in the English Department, served as Department Library Officer and Web Officer, and coordinated the English Department Research Seminar. More recently, I have been a member of the Committees for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity, in the School of Humanities and the Faculty of Arts. I have also served in the following roles:

  • 2019-2022 - Academic Member of Senate
  • 2015-2017 - Deputy Head of School and Education Director (Humanities)
  • 2012-2014 - Director of Exams (English)
  • 2010-2012 - Tutor for Admissions (English)

Other activities


  • Alfred Tennyson
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • Robert Browning
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Michael Field
  • Poetry
  • Poetics
  • Bees
  • Allusion
  • Form
  • Style
  • Practical Criticism
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins
  • Nineteenth-century literature
  • Victorian literature
  • Victorian poetry
  • Scholarly editing
  • Aesthetics
  • Continental Philosophy & Aesthetics


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