Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Studies

Drawing of the Cotton Exchange, Manchester 1800s

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the North West of England attained world-historical significance as a place where the cultural, economic, and political structures of industrial modernity were being created.  

These momentous changes have left an indelible imprint on Manchester in the form of rich archives and an important material cultural heritage.

The eighteenth- and nineteenth-century studies group draws on these important resources and welcomes students working in any period from the Restoration to the end of the Victorian Age.


Manchester’s eighteenth- and nineteenth-century studies research group sponsors an annual lecture and is involved in a number of seminars, workshops, and reading groups each year. Seminars include the Northwest Long Nineteenth Century Seminar, founded by Dr Michael Sanders and Prof. Sharon Rushton, and the Northwest Early Modern Seminar. 

In 2019, we hosted the International Conference on Romanticism. 


Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century studies at Manchester comprises seven permanent members of staff, who together cover the major periods from the Restoration through to the Victorian Age:

  • Clara Dawson (poetry of the long nineteenth century; Victorian literature and culture; nineteenth-century periodicals);
  • Noelle Dückmann Gallagher (Restoration and eighteenth-century literature and culture; satire; history of medicine/ medical humanities);
  • Hal Gladfelder (literature and culture of the long eighteenth century; history of sexuality and gender; history and theory of the novel);
  • Alan Rawes (Romantic period literature and culture, especially Lord Byron; European Romanticism);
  • Emily Rohrbach (Romanticism; philosophy of history / historiography; the Gothic; poetry and poetics; Jane Austen);
  • Michael Sanders (Victorian literature and culture, especially Chartist poetry; literature and religion; aesthetics and politics; poetics; working-class/radical periodicals).
  • Joanna Taylor (Romantic topographies; literary geographies of the long nineteenth century; spatial poetics; environmental humanities; digital methodologies)

We also host a large and thriving community of postgraduate students and enjoy close links with those working in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century studies in related departments (including History, Art History, and Music).


The John Rylands Library Deansgate holds a wealth of valuable resources for eighteenth- and nineteenth-century studies, including the Elizabeth Hamilton papers, Victorian periodicals, and first editions of many eighteenth- and nineteenth-century texts.

The University of Manchester Library also subscribes to a number of databases for materials published between 1660 and 1900, including Early English Books Online, Eighteenth-Century Collections Online, Nineteenth-Century pamphlets Online, Nineteenth-Century British Library Newspapers, and Nineteenth-Century Collections Online. There are also important holdings for eighteenth- and nineteenth-century studies research in Chetham’s Library, The Portico Library, Manchester City Central Library, The People’s History Museum, and the Working-Class Movement Library.