Dr Nicola Wilson
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Areas of Interest
I have specialist interests in using The Archive of British Publishing and Printing in my teaching and research, and have written on publishers' and digital archives, circulating libraries, colonial editions, literary censorship, reading patterns, and Leonard and Virginia Woolf's Hogarth Press. I am a Co-Director of The Modernist Archives Publishing Project (MAPP) www.modernistarchives.com. This is a critical digital archive that aims to reanimate the networks of C20 publishing. We are working with international partners to make parts of the Hogarth Press archive more widely available.
My current book, Books by Mail, is a literary and cultural history of the Book Society. Set up in the interwar period, this was the first book-of-the-month club to operate in Britain. I explore the impact of the club on reading patterns and tastes and analyse the lives of its judges. For more on the project see: https://thebooksocietysite.com/
My first book, Home in British Working-Class Fiction, explores the representation of home in working-class writing from the Edwardian period through to the late C20. It argues that home is crucial to literary expressions of class experience and identity and aims to move away from the gaze of the social observer 'looking in'. It was reviewed in the TLS as an 'ambitious and welcome addition' to the study of working-class writing (March, 2016).
Research groups / Centres
My research focusses on literature in the modern period. I have broad interests in literary history and print culture and my work is underscored by questions of feminism and class. My first book was Home in British Working-Class Fiction (Ashgate, 2015). The research for my second book, Books by Mail: The Story of the Book Society, 1929-69 has been funded by a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Reflecting all of my interests, since 2011 I have sought to bring the writings of Lancashire mill woman Ethel Carnie Holdsworth back into circulation. This work was featured in The Big Issue in the North (June 2016)
I also co-convene the Archives & Texts seminar series with colleagues in Modern Languages: http://archivesandtexts.wordpress.com/
Prior to working at Reading I studied at the Universities of Warwick, Oxford and Durham.
For full details of my research please see: Dr Nicola Wilson Research.
I run a Part 3 module, 'Class Matters', and a Part 2 module 'The Business of Books'. I co-convene the core Masters module 'Materiality & Textuality'.
I am currently supervising PhD projects on the Mills & Boon archive and literary censorship in Victorian Britain. I would be delighted to hear from prospective PhD students interested in any of my areas of research.
- Wilson, N. (2017) ‘So now tell me what you think!’: Sylvia Lynd's collaborative reading and reviewing - the work of an interwar middlewoman. Literature & History. ISSN 0306-1973 (In Press)
- Wilson, N. (2017) Ethel Carnie Holdsworth: genre, serial fiction, and popular reading patterns. In: Goodridge, J. and Keegan, B. (eds.) A History of British Working Class Literature. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 9781107190405
- Wilson, N. (2017) Middlemen, middlebrow, broadbrow. In: Futility and Anarchy? British Literature in Transition, 1920-1940. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. (In Press)
- Battershill, C., Southworth, H., Staveley, A., Widner, M., Willson Gordon, E. and Wilson, N. (2017) Scholarly adventures in the digital humanities: making the Modernist Archives Publishing Project. Palgrave Pivot. Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills. ISBN 9783319472102
- Wilson, N. (2016) Virginia Woolf and the Book Society Limited. In: Vandivere, J. and Hicks, M. (eds.) Virginia Woolf and her female contemporaries. Clemson University Press: Woolf Selected Papers. Liverpool University Press, Liverpool. ISBN 9781942954088
- Wilson, N. (2016) British publishers and colonial editions. In: Wilson, N. (ed.) The Book World: Selling and Distributing British Literature. Library of the Written Word. Brill, The Hague. ISBN 9789004315860
- Wilson, N. (2016) The book world: selling and distributing British literature, 1900-40. Library of the Written Word. Brill, The Hague, pp221. ISBN 9789004315860
- Carnie Holdsworth, E. (2016) Helen of Four Gates. The Ethel Carnie Holdsworth Series. Kennedy & Boyd, Edinburgh, pp215. ISBN 9781849211284
- Wilson, N. (2016) Working class fictions, 1940-73. In: Boxall, P. and Cheyette, B. (eds.) Volume 7: British and Irish Fiction since 1940. The Oxford History of the Novel in English. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9780198749394
- Wilson, N. (2015) Home in British working-class fiction. Ashgate, Farnham, pp240. ISBN 9781409432418
- Wilson, N. (2014) Boots Book-lovers' Library and the novel: The impact of a circulating library market on twentieth-century fiction. Information and Culture: A Journal of History, 49 (4). pp. 427-449. ISSN 2164-8034
- Wilson, N., Willson Gordon, E., Staveley, A., Southworth, H. and Battershill, C. (2014) The Hogarth Press, Digital Humanities, and Collaboration: Introducing the Modernist Archives Publishing Project (MAPP). In: Wussow, H. and Gillies, M. A. (eds.) Virginia Woolf and the Common(wealth) Reader. Clemson University Digital Press, Clemson, pp. 223-231. ISBN 9780989082679
- Wilson, N. (2014) Archive fever: the publishers' archive and the history of the novel. In: Parrinder, P., Nash, A. and Wilson, N. (eds.) New Directions in the History of the Novel. Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, pp. 76-87. ISBN 9781137026972
- Parrinder, P., Nash, A. and Wilson, N. (2014) Introduction. In: Parrinder, P., Nash, A. and Wilson, N. (eds.) New directions in the history of the novel. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 1-14. ISBN 9781137026972
- Parrinder, P., Nash, A. and Wilson, N., eds. (2014) New directions in the history of the novel. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp256. ISBN 9781137026972
- Wilson, N. (2013) Circulating morals, 1900-15. In: Bradshaw, D. and Potter, R. (eds.) Prudes on the Prowl: Literature, Obscenity and Censorship in England, 1850-The Present Day. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 52-70. ISBN 9780199697564
- Carnie, E. (2013) Miss Nobody. The Ethel Carnie Holdsworth Series, 1. Kennedy & Boyd, Kilkerran, pp264. ISBN 9781849211277
- Wilson, N. (2012) Virginia Woolf, Hugh Walpole, the Hogarth Press, and the Book Society. English Literary History, 79 (1). pp. 237-6547. ISSN 1080-6547 doi: https://doi.org/10.1353/elh.2012.0008
- Wilson, N., ed. (2011) 'This slavery' by Ethel Carnie Holdsworth. Radical Fictions. Trent Editions, Nottingham, pp260. ISBN 9781842331415
- Wilson, N. (2010) Libraries, censorship and reading patterns. In: Parrinder, P. and Gasiorek, A. (eds.) The Reinvention of the British and Irish Novel 1880-1940. The Oxford History of the Novel (Vol 4). Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 36-54. ISBN 9780199559336
- Wilson, N. (2010) Ethel Carnie Holdsworth (1886-1962), ex-mill girl novelist. Women's History Magazine, 63. pp. 27-31. ISSN 1476-6760
- Wilson, N. (2007) Politicising the home in Ethel Carnie Holdsworth's 'This Slavery' (1925) and Ellen Wilkinson's 'Clash' (1929). Key Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism, 5. pp. 26-42. ISSN 1369-9725