Jessica Fay

Jessica Fay


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I have supervised postgraduate research on Dorothy Wordsworth's correspondence, Percy Shelley's legacies, Romantic responses to Bruges, and the nineteenth-century painter William Collins. I would be happy to discuss potential research projects in any area of Romanticism (especially those focusing on William and Dorothy Wordsworth), place-writing, or the relationship between poetry and painting.


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

I am a Romanticist with a focus on William Wordsworth and Dorothy Wordsworth. I am interested in connections between religion and literature, in landscape and visual culture, and in the significance of patterns of observance and observation (silence and the activity of looking) in Romantic writing.

My first monograph, Wordsworth’s Monastic Inheritance (OUP, 2018), investigates the poet’s engagement with the material and cultural legacies of medieval monasticism. My second book, The Collected Letters of Sir George and Lady Beaumont to the Wordsworth Family (LUP, 2021), explores the poet’s creative exchange with the artist, patron, and co-founder of the National Gallery, Sir George Beaumont. 

I am currently working on the first standalone edition of The Poetry of Dorothy Wordsworth (CUP, 2026) and editing the first essay collection dedicated to her life, work, and reception, Dorothy Wordsworth in Context (CUP, 2027). 

I am also co-editing The Oxford Handbook of William Cowper (OUP, 2028), which will reassert his importance as a poet who bridges the divide between eighteenth-century and Romantic literature.  

At the University of Birmingham, with Professor Alexandra Harris, I lead the Arts of Place research network.  


After taking an MA at the University of Liverpool, I was fortunate to win a Lamb and Flag Doctoral Scholarship at St John’s College, Oxford. On completing my doctorate, I moved to the Department of English at the University of Bristol where I held a Teaching Fellowship followed by a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellowship. I joined the University of Birmingham in 2018.  

External positions

University of Bristol

1 Sept 201831 Aug 2021


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