Staff Profile


Carolyn Winifred Oulton

Professor of Victorian Literature

School: School of Humanities & Educational Studies

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 922340

Profile summary

Carolyn W. de la L. Oulton is Director of the International Centre for Victorian Women Writers (ICVWW), which she co-founded with Adrienne Gavin. She is the Project Lead for in collaboration with JSTOR Labs. Her current research is on Victorian practices of shared reading.

Research and knowledge exchange

Current ICVWW research projects include:

From Brontë to Bloomsbury: Realism, Sensation and the New in Women's Writing from the 1840s to the 1930s. This project traces developments in women's writing decade by decade through the 5 vol British Women's Writing from Brontë to Bloomsbury (Palgrave, vols 1-2 pubd to date).

Previous projects have included: Letterpress Reimagined (a Heritage Lottery funded project in collaboration with the National Trust at Sissinghurst), Gates to the Glorious and the Unknown (funded by Arts Council England), Lady Audley on Trial (funded by the Being Human Festival 2016) and Canterbury Tales: from the City to the Sea in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at CCCU, Canterbury Cathedral Archives, Folkestone Museum, Dreamland, Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys and Harvey Grammar School (funded by the Being Human Festival in 2018).

ICVWW exhibitions have included: Victorian Rebel: The Many Faces of Mary Braddon (2012), Wild Woman to New Woman: Sex and Suffrage on the Victorian Stage (in association with the Centre for Gender, Sexuality and Writing at the University of Kent, May 2013) and Victorian Women at the Seaside (a travelling exhibition held over the summer and autumn of 2014).

Teaching and subject expertise

Carolyn teaches on the MA in English Literature and the Creative and Professional Writing BA Hons programme, and is an experienced PhD supervisor with external examining experience.

Research interests include: romantic friendship, the New Woman, seaside reading from the 1840s to the 1930s, literary pilgrimage and histories of shared reading.

Carolyn is interested in supervising PhD research in nineteenth-century literature, including: Dickens, Mary Cholmondeley, New Woman fiction, Jerome K. Jerome and the New Humour. 

Membership of literary organisations includes:

  • British Association of Victorian Studies
  • Victorian Popular Fiction Association
  • Jerome K. Jerome Society
  • Women’s Life Writing Network
  • Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing

Publications and research outputs


Literature and Religion in Mid-Victorian England. Palgrave Macmillan 2003

Romantic Friendship in Victorian Literature. Ashgate 2007             

Let the Flowers Go: A Life of Mary Cholmondeley. Pickering & Chatto 2009             

Below the Fairy City: A Life of Jerome K. Jerome. Victorian Secrets 2012.  

Dickens and the Myth of the Reader. Routledge 2016.         

Down from London: Seaside Reading in the Railway Age (forthcoming from Liverpool University Press, March 2022). 


Edited collections

with SueAnn Schatz, Mary Cholmondeley Reconsidered. Pickering & Chatto 2009.            

with Adrienne E. Gavin, Writing Women of the Fin de Siècle: Authors of Change. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.    

with Adrienne E. Gavin. British Women's Writing from Brontë to Bloomsbury: vol 1. 1840s-1850s. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

with Adrienne E. Gavin. British Women's Writing from Brontë to Bloomsbury: vol 2. 1860s-1870s. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.

Edited series       

General Editor, New Woman Fiction 1881 – 1899 (9 part series). Pickering & Chatto July 2010 - May 2011.

with Adrienne E. Gavin. British Women's Writing from Brontë to Bloomsbury: 1840-1940 (5 vol series. Under contract to Palgrave, 2018 - ).

Read more of my research.



The Rain. Sol Publications 2000.

Left Past the Moon. National Poetry Foundation 2001.

A Child, a Death and the Making of the Fairy Tale Woman. Bewrite Books 2011.

Accidental Fruit. Worple Press 2016.

Spontaneous Arrangements (in progress).


Connect with us

Last edited: 13/12/2018 21:16:00