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About Dr Richard Leahy

He is currently studying for and writing a PhD thesis on the role of artificial light within Nineteenth Century Literature under the supervision of Dr. Melissa Fegan.


Richard currently convenes EN4002 'Approaches to Literature' at Level 4 and EN7218 'Science, Technology and Medicine in the Nineteenth Century', as well as teaching/lecturing on the following modules:

  • EN4001 - Studying Literature
  • EN5002 - Victorian Literature
  • EN5004 - The Gothic
  • EN7201 - Nineteenth Century Literature: The Canon and Beyond
  • EN7202 - Nineteenth Century Culture
  • EN7203 - Research Methods



Richard's research interests include:

  • Nineteenth Century Literature.
  • The influence of technology on culture, society, and literature.
  • Gothic Literature.
  • Science Fiction.
  • Theories of Light and Vision.
  • Critical Theory.


Published Work

‘Fire and Reverie: Domestic Light and the Individual in Cranford and Mary Barton’ in The Gaskell Journal, Vol. 28 (The Gaskell Society, 2014)

‘Artificial Light in the Nineteenth Century: Candlelight and Gaslight; or the Individual and the Network’ in Kaleidoscope: Light, Vol. 6, No. 1 (Durham University, 2014)

‘The Literary Realisation of Electric Light in the Early 20th Century: Artificial Illumination in H.G. Wells and E.M. Forster’ in Dark Nights, Bright Lights: Night, Darkness and Illumination in Literature, eds. Susanne Bach and Folkert Degenring (Berlin: Degruyter, 2015)

‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Class and the Uncanny’ for the BAVS Neo-Victorianist Blog (March, 2016)

Sherlock’s ‘The Abominable Bride’: Recreating Nineteenth Century Illumination in Neo-Victorian Space’ for the BAVS Neo-Victorianist Blog (April, 2016)

‘Deconstructing and Reconstructing Textual Femininity in Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl’ in Parlour Journal, Vol. 2 (University of Ohio, August 2016)

‘Myth, Folklore and Spiritualism in Victorian and Neo-Victorian Representations of Hair’, A Cultural History of Hair in the Age of Empire (Bloomsbury, 2018)

‘With, all down darkness wide, his wading light?’: Light and Dark in Gerard Manley Hopkins’s ‘The Candle Indoors’ and ‘The Lantern out of Doors’, The Nordic Journal of English Studies (University of Gothenburg, 2018)


Literary Illumination: The Evolution of Artificial Light in Nineteenth Century Literature (Tentative Title (University Wales Press, Summer/Autumn 2018)


Gladstone’s Colloquium, February 2014 – ‘The Candle and Victorian Literary Spaces.’

University of Cambridge’s ‘Thinking with Things’ Seminar Series, April 2014 – ‘The Candle in Detective and Gothic Fiction.’

Paris Diderot University’s ‘Uses of Light in British Arts of the Nineteenth Century Conference’, June 2014 – ‘The Candle and Lacan’s Gaze.’

The British Society For Literature and Science Annual Conference, University of Liverpool, April 2015 – ‘Candlelight and Gaslight, or Individuality and Modernity.’

British Association of Victorian Studies Conference, Cardiff, August 2016 ‘Networks of Consumerism and Technology in the works of Émile Zola.’

‘Talking Bodies’, The University of Chester, April 2017 – ‘Writing the Body in Gillian Flynn’s Novels’.

 British Association of Victorian Studies Conference, Lincoln, August 2017 – ‘Trains and Brains: The Shared Social Experience of Railways and Psychology’.



  • BA English Literature (University of Chester),
  • MA in Nineteenth Century Literature and Culture (University of Chester),
  • PhD specialising in Nineteenth Century Literature and Culture (University of Chester)