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Staff Profile

Dr Henry Miller, BA, MA, PhD

Research Fellow in the Department of History

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My main research interests are nineteenth century politics and culture in Britain. My first book, Politics personified: portraiture, caricature and visual culture in Britain, 1830-1880 (Manchester University Press, 2015), explores the extraordinary proliferation and remarkable popularity of the political likeness in a crucial period of political modernisation and media development. It examines a diverse range of contemporary photographs, engraved portraits, cartoons and paintings, as well as material culture, studying how they shaped public perceptions of politics and politicians. 

My current and future research revolves around the history of petitioning, and developed out of my 2012 English Historical Review article. Alongside Richard Huzzey, I lead the 'Re-thinking petitions, Parliament, and people in the long nineteenth century, 1780-1918', research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Petitioning was the most accessible, popular form of political activity for ordinary people in this period. Yet compared to the early modern periods, America and Europe, petitioning has attracted remarkably little attention. Our project is the first to examine the huge scale and diversity of petitioning and petitions to Parliament from people, men and women, rich and poor, from the U.K. and the British Empire. We also keep in touch with a growing number of scholars examining petitions from other times and places through our Humble Petitioners network. In June 2015 I organised an international symposium on Transnational Cultures of Petitioning, held at the University of Manchester.

Before joining Durham I was Research Fellow on the History of Parliament Trust’s 1832-1868 House of Commons project (2009-13) and then Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century British History at the University of Manchester (2013-16), where I taught on modern British social, cultural and economic history, 1750-2000. I completed my doctoral research at Queen Mary, University of London. 

Research Projects

Department of History

Research Interests

  • Modern British History
  • Petitions in the United Kingdom, c. 1780-1918
  • Popular Politics and Social Movements
  • Print Culture
  • Visual Culture


Authored book

  • Miller, Henry (2015). Politics Personified: Portraiture, Caricature and Visual Culture in Britain, 1830-1880. Manchester University Press.

Chapter in book

  • Miller, Henry (2017). 'Petition! Petition!! Petition!!!: Petitioning and the Organization of Public Opinion in Britain, c. 1780-1850'. In Organizing Democracy: Reflections on the Rise of Political Organizations in the Nineteenth Century. te Velde, Henk & Janse, Maartje Palgrave. 43-61.
  • Miller, Henry (2017). 'Petitioning and Demonstrating'. In The Oxford Handbook of Modern British Political History, 1800-2000. Brown, David, Crowcroft, Robert & Pentland, Gordon Oxford University Press.
  • Miller, Henry (2015). 'Earl Grey'. In British Liberal Leaders: Leaders of the Liberal Democrats, Liberal Party and SDP since the Great Reform Act. Brack, Duncan & Egan, Mark Biteback Publishing. 81-92.

Journal Article

  • Miller, Henry (2017). Free Trade and Print Culture: Political Communication in Early Nineteenth-Century England. Cultural and Social History 14(1): 35-54.
  • Miller, Henry (2012). ‘Popular Petitioning and the Corn Laws, 1833-1846’. English Historical Review 127: 882-919.
  • Miller, Henry (2012). ‘Radicals, Tories or Monomaniacs?: The Birmingham Currency Reformers in the House of Commons, 1832-1867’. Parliamentary History 31: 354-377.
  • Miller, Henry (2009). ‘John Leech and the Shaping of the Victorian Cartoon: The Context of Respectability’. Victorian Periodicals Review 42: 267-291.
  • Miller, Henry (2009). ‘The Problem with Punch’. Historical Research 82: 285-302.