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Dr Nicola Wilson – University of Reading

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Dr Nicola Wilson

Dr Nicola Wilson
Job Title:
Associate Professor
Nicola Wilson



I am lead editor on Cambridge Elements 'Publishing and Book Culture' series strand on 'Women, Publishing, and Book Culture', and on the editorial board of Key Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism, the Raymond Williams Society journal.

I have peer reviewed book proposals and manuscripts for Bloomsbury, Routledge, and Palgrave Macmillan, and for the journals ELH, Literature and History, Contemporary Womens Writing, Book History, PMLA, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, and Enterprise and Society.

I run Part 3 modules, 'Class Matters', 'Publishing Cultures: Writers, Publics, Archives' and Part 2 module 'The Business of Books'. I co-convene the core Masters module 'Materiality & Textuality' and optional module 'Modern Literary Feminisms'.

I am currently supervising PhD projects on the Mills & Boon and Allen & Unwin archives, publishing in 1922, and libraries and literary censorship in Victorian Britain. I would be delighted to hear from prospective PhD students in any of my areas of research.

Areas of Interest

My research focusses on literature in the modern period. I have broad interests in literary history, publishing, and print culture and my work is underscored by questions of feminism and class.

My first book, Home in British Working-Class Fiction (Ashgate, 2015), argued for the importance of home and domestic space in framing understandings of social class. It was reviewed in the TLS as an 'ambitious and welcome addition' to the study of working-class writing (March, 2016).

My second book, Books by Mail: The Story of the Book Society, 1929-69 explores the lives and literary tastes of Britain's first set of book club judges: Hugh Walpole, J. B. Priestley, Sylvia Lynd, Cecil Day-Lewis and Edmund Blunden. This has been funded by a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship. See here for more on the project.

I am currently working on three research projects. (i) 'Publishing Class' uses the publishers' archives at UoR to explore the long history of publishing working-class writing and the structural challenges that writers from a working-class background have often faced. I wrote about this for The Bookseller.

(ii) The Modernist Archives Publishing Project (MAPP) is a critical digital archive that aims to reanimate the networks of C20 publishing. I am working with colleagues in UoR Special Collections and international partners to make parts of the Hogarth Press archive more widely available. and developing new research on 'Women in Publishing' as part of this project.

(iii) The Edinburgh Companion to Women in Publishing, 1900-2000 (Edinburgh University Press), eds. Wilson, Claire Battershill, Sophie Heywood, Daniela la Penna, Helen Southworth, Alice Staveley, Elizabeth Willson Gordon, Marrisa Joseph. I am lead editor on this 40+Ch international companion, highlighting womens' diverse work within global book and magazine publishing.

Since 2011 I have worked to bring the writings of Lancashire mill woman Ethel Carnie Holdsworth back into circulation, as featured in The Big Issue in the North (June 2016)

Prior to working at Reading I studied at the Universities of Warwick, Oxford and Durham.

For full details of my research please see here and my publications

Research groups / Centres

 I am co-director of the interdisciplinary Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing and have specialist interests in using The Archive of British Publishing and Printing in my teaching and research. I have written on publishers' and digital archives, circulating libraries, colonial editions, literary censorship, reading patterns, and Leonard and Virginia Woolf's Hogarth Press. In 2017 I organised the 27th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf at the UoR to coincide with the centenary of the Hogarth Press. Hear me talking to Mariella Frostrup on BBC Radio 4 about the centenary here

I am theme lead of DEL's 'Archives & Materialities' research strand.



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Number of items: 28.









  • 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





This list was generated on Mon Jun 14 17:23:54 2021 UTC.









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