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Department of English Studies


Academic Staff

Dr Sarah Wootton

Associate Professor in the Department of English Studies
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42568
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 42572
Member of Steering Group in the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture

Contact Dr Sarah Wootton (email at


Byronic Heroes and Consuming Keats

Dr Sarah Wootton joined the English Studies Department at Durham University in 2002. Her research and teaching interests are in the Romantic and Victorian periods, with a particular focus on the afterlives of nineteenth-century writers in fiction, art, and screen adaptation.

Sarah's first book, Consuming Keats: Nineteenth-Century Representations in Art and Literature (Palgrave Macmillan), examines the creative legacy of Keats's poetry in the literary and visual arts of the Victorian period and beyond. She won the Keats-Shelley Memorial Prize for research on this topic. Her second monograph, Byronic Heroes in Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing and Screen Adaptation (Palgrave Macmillan), explores the legacy of a unique cultural phenomenon in the fiction of Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot, together with screen versions of their novels. This book won the 2016 Elma Dangerfield Prize, awarded by the International Association of Byron Societies.

Sarah has given public lectures at the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Keats-Shelley Memorial House in Rome, as well as plenaries and invited talks at a range of venues, including the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and St Andrews. In 2015, she gave a keynote lecture at the Wordsworth Summer Conference and the Annual Lucy Edwards Lecture. She recently gave a keynote lecture at the Brontë Society Conference in August 2017. 

Sarah welcomes PhD applications in the areas of nineteenth-century literature and the visual arts, the cultural legacies of Romantic and Victorian writers, and nineteenth-century women's writing. She has supervised students on screen adaptations of the nineteenth-century novel and on various aspects of the Brontës' fiction and their cultural afterlives.

Sarah is a co-organiser of the International Keats Conference, a series of bicentennial events to mark the life, work, and afterlives of this poet. Conference venues include the Keats House in Hampstead (2014, 2016, 2017) and Guy's Hospital (2015). She is also a Co-Director of the Romantic Dialogues and Legacies Research Group at Durham University, and has co-organised the following public lecture series: ‘Romanticism and Its Legacies’ (2006); 'Modelling the Self: Subjectivity and Identity in Romantic and Post-Romantic Thought and Culture' (2007-2008); '"This Strange Dream upon the Water": Venice and the Cultural Imagination since 1800' (2009-2010); and 'The Persistence of Beauty: Victorians to Moderns' (2012). She co-organised a symposium on 'Light and the Poetics of Ambivalence' 2013. In March 2016, Sarah organised a special event, 'Celebrating the Brontës', to commemorate the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë's birth and to mark International Women's Day. 

Research Groups

  • Romantic and Pre-Romantic Studies
  • Victorian Studies

Research Interests

  • Afterlives of Nineteenth-Century Writers, inc. Screen Adaptation
  • Nineteenth-Century Literature and the Visual Arts
  • Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing
  • Romantic Poetry and the Prose of Jane Austen
  • Victorian Literature

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Edited Journal

Journal Article

Other (Print)

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