Dr Julia Reid

Dr Julia Reid


My research and teaching interests in Victorian literature and culture are informed by my interdisciplinary background - I have a BA in Modern History and a D.Phil. in English Literature, and have held Lectureships in both English and History Departments. My research to date has focused on the interactions between late-Victorian literature, science, and culture.

Research interests

My research interests focus on the intersections between Victorian literature, science, and culture.

My first book, Robert Louis Stevenson, Science, and the Fin de Sicle (Palgrave, 2006; reissued as paperback 2009), examines Stevenson's writing in the context of late-Victorian evolutionist thought, arguing that his work questions scientific assumptions about progress from 'savagery' to 'civilization'. The study offers a new way of understanding the relationship between Stevenson's Scottish and Polynesian work. It also highlights the complex traffic of ideas between scientific and literary discourses, and shows that creative writers and scientists were engaged in a collective endeavour to understand the 'primitive' heritage of modern life.

My next monograph is an interdisciplinary study of representations of matriarchy in the Victorian period. Entitled 'She Who Must be Obeyed': Matriarchy in Victorian Anthropology and Fiction, this project investigates how debate about the imagined matriarchal past traversed Victorian scientific, fictional, and political discourses. I have published a related essay - on anthropology and matriarchy in H. Rider Haggard's She - in the Journal of Victorian Culture.

I am also an experienced textual editor. My new scholarly edition of The Amateur Emigrant, Stevenson's narrative of transatlantic 'slumming', was published in Edinburgh University Press's New Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Stevenson in 2018. I conducted the textual work for this edition as the Frederick and Marion Pottle Fellow in British Studies at the Beinecke Library, Yale University (2010), and completed it as Resident Associate at the National Humanities Center, North Carolina, in 2015-16. I am currently completing an edition of Stevenson's The Silverado Squatters, also for Edinburgh University Press. I conducted the archival research for this edition in July 2018, when I held the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship at the Huntington Library, California.

My other research interests include imperial masculinities, Victorian periodical publishing, feminism, interdisciplinarity, medicine, and spiritualism.

Recent Publications

Ed., The Amateur Emigrant, by Robert Louis Stevenson (Edinburgh University Press, 2018). In the New Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Robert Louis Stevenson.

'Archaeology and Anthropology', in John Holmes and Sharon Ruston, eds, The Routledge Research Companion to Nineteenth-Century British Literature and Science (Routledge, 2017), 357-71.

'She Who Must be Obeyed: Anthropology and Matriarchy in H. Rider Haggard's She', Journal of Victorian Culture 20.3 (2015): 357-74.

 '"King Romance" in Longman's Magazine: Andrew Lang and Literary Populism', in Victorian Periodicals Review 44.4 (winter 2011): 354-76.

'"Gladstone bags, shooting boots, and Bryant & May's matches": Empire, Commerce, and the Imperial Romance in the Graphic's Serialization of H. Rider Haggard's She', Studies in the Novel 43.2 (summer 2011): 152-78.

'Childhood and Psychology', in Penny Fielding, ed., The Edinburgh Companion to Robert Louis Stevenson (Edinburgh UP, 2010), 41-52.

Recent Activities

I review regularly for Review of English Studies, English, Nineteenth-Century Literature, and Woman: A Cultural Review and act as a reader for Blackwell, the MLA, and the Journal for Victorian Culture

I welcome PhD proposals on any topic which falls into the broad research areas outlined above.


<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • D. Phil. in English Literature
  • MA in Nineteenth-Century Studies
  • BA in Modern History

Student education

At undergraduate level, I teach on core modules in nineteenth-century literature and beyond; I also offer option modules drawing on my own research. At MA level, I offer a specialist research-led module in nineteenth-century literature and culture.

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>