My doctoral research examines representations of masculinity in the Brontë canon as a whole, including not only the mature novels and poetry by the Brontë sisters - Charlotte, Emily, and Anne - but also the Brontës’ voluminous early writings, a great deal of which was written by the often overlooked Brontë brother - Branwell. My chief concerns in this study are two-fold: I will examine the Brontës’ depictions of masculinity over the course of each writer’s development, looking in particular for points of connection or divergence between siblings; equally, I will situate the Brontës within the larger field of Romantic and Victorian cultural constructions of masculinity.
I'm currently researching Chapter Four, which will discuss representations of masculinity in Anne's Gondal poetry and her first novel, Agnes Grey. I'm particularly curious to see how young boys and clergyman are portrayed and interested in how Mr Grey's financial failure at the beginning of the novel, allows Agnes to enter the world as a governess.
I have recently presented on Africa and masculinity and collaboration and sibling rivalry in relation to the Brontës' early writings, as well as on Michel Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White as a neo-Victorian reworking of Jane Eyre. Just this month, I presented a paper titled 'Genre, Canonicity, and the Literary Young Adult Novel: The Case of Linda Newbery's Set in Stone (2006)' at the Marginalised Mainstream: Literature, Culture, and Popularity conference in London.