Skip to content

About Prof Deborah Wynne

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and have been teaching at Chester since 2001. My teaching and research work in conjunction with each other. Recently I have been researching and teaching the Brontës, and have published widely on the work of Charlotte. I also teach the work of many nineteenth-century and twentieth-century writers, as well as supervising PhD students researching Victorian literature. I am also interested in researching the textile cultures of Victorian Britain, particularly rags recycling into paper. I talked about how the Victorians recycled cloth when I appeared on BBC One’s Great British Sewing Bee in 2020.


While I specialise in nineteenth-century literature, I also teach the work of many writers from different periods. The undergraduate and postgraduate modules I teach include:

  • Fictional Worlds
  • Literary Heritage: Writer’s House Museums and Literary Tourism
  • Women’s Writing: Journeys from Home, 1840-1970
  • Nineteenth-Century Literature
  • Nineteenth-Century Culture

Postgraduate supervision:

I have supervised seven PhD students to successful completion and currently supervise PhD students researching projects on nineteenth-century literature and culture.


Recently, my research has focused on the Brontës and I’m co-editing a book of essays with Amber Regis. The Edinburgh Companion to the Brontës and the Arts (forthcoming, Edinburgh University Press). I’ve also co-edited (again with Amber Regis) Charlotte Brontë: Legacies and Afterlives (Manchester University Press, 2017). I also have interests in Victorian material culture, and this resulted in a book on Victorian manufacturing for the Routledge series, Victorian Material Culture which was co-edited with Louisa Yates and published in 2022. 

I welcome enquiries from students wishing to study for a PhD on nineteenth-century material culture, the work of the Brontës and other mid-Victorian writers, and on writer’s house museums.

I have been awarded a number of external grants. As Principal Investigator I received an AHRC Leadership Fellowship for project called Literary Fabrics: The Textile Languages of Novels and Costume Dramas [ref. AH/K00803X/1] and an AHRC Research Leave Grant for Women and Personal Property in the Victorian Novel [ref. AH/G002940/1]. I have also been the Co-Investigator on two other grants.

Public Engagement:

Since 2013 I have organised public engagement events and activities related to the Textile Stories Project, designed to harness contemporary interest in textiles, sustainable clothing, vintage clothes, crafts, in literature and costume dramas. Click here to see a short clip of an event I organised with Wrexham Museum in February 2020. 

The Textile Stories Project has a blog, recording activities associated with the project and containing contributions from people interested in textiles and the stories they tell:

Published Work


The Edinburgh Companion to the Brontës and the Arts (eds) Deborah Wynne and Amber K. Regis (Edinburgh University Press, 2024)

Victorian Material Culture: Manufactured Objects (eds) Deborah Wynne and Louisa Yates (Routledge, 2022) ISBN 9781138225374

Charlotte Brontë: Legacies and Afterlives (eds) Amber R. Regis and Deborah Wynne (Manchester University Press, 2017) ISBN 978-1-7849—9246-0

Women and Personal Property in the Victorian Novel (Routledge, 2016) ISBN 978-0-7546-6766-7

The Sensation Novel and the Victorian Family Magazine (Palgrave Macmillan, 2001) ISBN 978-0-3337-7666-7 

Articles and book chapters:

‘Wilkie Collins’s Journalism’, Wilkie Collins in Context (eds) William Baker and Richard Nemesvari (Cambridge University Press, 2024)

“Men shall not make us foes”: Charlotte Brontë’s Letter Writing and her Female Friendship Networks’, Routledge Companion to Literature and Feminism (eds) Rachel Carroll and Fiona Tolan (Routledge, 2024)

‘Charlotte Brontë’s Gothic Fragment: “The Story of Willie Ellin”’ Victoriographies, 11:1 (March 2021): 20-37.

‘Charlotte Brontë and the Politics of Cloth: The “vile rumbling mills” of Yorkshire’, Brontë Studies 43: 1 (January 2018): 89-99

‘The “Charlotte” Cult: Writing the Literary Pilgrimage, from Gaskell to Woolf’, in Charlotte Brontë: Legacies and Afterlives (Manchester University Press, 2017): 43-57 

‘Picturing Charlotte Brontë’, co-author Amber K. Regis, in Charlotte Brontë: Legacies and Afterlives(Manchester University Press, 2017): 1-42 

‘Approaching Charlotte Brontë in the Twenty-First Century’, Literature Compass Special Issue: Charlotte Brontë at the Bicentennial, 14:12 (December 2017): 1-8

‘Reading Victorian Rags: Recycling, Redemption and Dickens’s Ragged Children’, Journal of Victorian Culture20: 1 (2015): 34-49  [Gold Open Access]

‘The “Despised Trade” in Textiles: H.G. Wells, William Paine, Charles Cavers and the Male Draper’s Life, 1870-1914’, Textile History 46:1 (May 2015): 99-113 [Gold Open Access]

‘Arnold Bennett and Material Culture’ in A Companion to Arnold Bennett (ed.) John Shapcott (Leek: Churnet Valley Press, 2015): 193-207 

‘Charlotte Brontë’s Frocks and Shirley’s Queer Textiles’ in Literary Bric-a-Brac and the Victorians: From Commodities to Oddities (eds) Jonathon Shears and Jan Harrison (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2013): 147-163 

‘Miss Havisham’s Dress: Materialising Dickens in Film Adaptations of Great Expectations’ (co-author: Dr Amber Regis), Neo-Victorian Studies [Special Issue: The Other Dickens: Neo-Victorian Appropriation and Adaptation] 5:2 (2012): 35-58 [Open Access]

‘Circulation and Stasis: Feminine Property in the Novels of Charles Dickens’, Dickens, Sexuality and Gender ed. Lillian Nayder (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012): 593-624

‘Readers and Reading Practices’ in The Oxford History of the Novel in English: Vol. 3: The Nineteenth-Century Novel 1820-1880, ed. Jenny Bourne Taylor and John Kucich (Oxford University Press, 2011): 22-36 

‘Critical Responses to Sensation’ in A Companion to Sensation Fiction ed. Pamela Gilbert (Oxford: Blackwell,2011): pp. 389-400 

‘The Victorians’ in Studying English Literature, eds Ashley Chantler and David Higgins (London: Continuum, 2010) 

‘The New Woman, Portable Property and The Spoils of Poynton’, The Henry James Review 31:2 (Spring 2010): 142-153.

 ‘Equivocal Objects: The Problems of Property in Daniel Deronda’, in nineteen: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, (Spring, 2008) 

‘Scenes of “Incredible Outrage”: Dickens, Ireland and A Tale of Two Cities’, Dickens Studies Annual vol. 37 (2006/7): 51-64

‘Hysteria Repeating Itself: Elizabeth Gaskell’s Lois the Witch’, Women’s Writing, 12:1 (2005): 85-97. 

‘Responses to the 1851 Great Exhibition in Household Words’, The Dickensian 455:97, Part 3 (Winter 2001/2): 228-34

 ‘See What A Big Wide Bed It Is!: Mrs Henry Wood and the Philistine Imagination’, in Emma Liggins and Daniel Duffy (eds) Feminist Readings of Victorian Popular Texts: Divergent Femininities (Ashgate, 2001): 89-107


BA, MPhil, PhD, SFHEA.