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Name: Matthew Holliday

PhD: English Literature 

Thesis Title: Woolf, Wordsworth, and the Victorians

Thesis Description:

Since the appearance of Steve Ellis’s monograph on Virginia Woolf and the Victorians (2007), interest in Woolf’s response to Victorian culture has been revived. My thesis takes Ellis’s notion of Woolf as a ‘post-Victorian’ and looks specifically at her Wordsworthian inheritance, exploring the influence of her father, Leslie Stephen, and the legacy of Wordsworth in the late nineteenth century. I track Woolf’s response to Wordsworth through her writings on Post-Impressionism, literary composition, and landscape. In doing so, I reconsider Woolf’s relationship to the nineteenth century in terms of dialogue rather than rupture, viewed through the unifying power of Wordsworth.


Thesis Supervisors: 

Prof. Jo Guy, University of Nottingham

Prof. Philip Shaw, University of Leicester

Conference Papers:

2017 to Present 

  • 'Virginia Woolf's Wordsworthian Inheritance', 28th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, University of Kent (June, 2018)
  • 'My only drug': Virginia Woolf, William Wordsworth and the Transmutation of Grief, Transitions: Bridging the Victorian-Modernist Divide, University of Birmingham (April, 2018)

Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:

2017 to Present

  • Three-week-long funded research trip to Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections, Washington State University, WA (January, 2019) 
  • Published 'Biography' and 'Select Bibliography' on Harold Gilman in Harold Gilman: Beyond Camden Town (November, 2018)
  • Appointed Student Officer for the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain (June, 2018)
  • Attended 'Virginia Woolf and Her Relations' conference, organised by the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain (April, 2018)
  • Modernism In Focus Residential CDF Event (March, 2018)
    • 'Biography and Life-Writing' seminar lead
  • Attended Virginia Woolf Birthday Lecture, Senate House, London (Janaury, 2018)
  • Panel Chair, British Association of Modernist Studies, New Work in Modernist Studies (December, 2017)
  • Panel Chair, Midlands Modernist Network, Reading Group (December, 2017)
  • Panel Chair, Benign Fiesta: Wyndham Lewis's Texts, Contexts, and Aesthetics (September, 2017)

Other Research Interests:

  • Victorian and early twentieth-century cultural, visual, and literary history
  • Natural History / nature writing 
  • The Bloomsbury Group
  • Life-writing (biography, autobiography, memoir, diary, letters, autobiographical fiction)
  • Thomas Hardy
  • Katherine Mansfield




Twitter: @MHolliday_Esq


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