School of the Arts, English and Drama

School staff

Dr Carol Bolton

Photo of Dr Carol Bolton

Specialism: Romanticist

After teaching at the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and the Open University, I joined the English programme at Loughborough University in 2007, with responsibility for teaching Romantic-period literature (1780-1830).

My interest in a wide range of Romantic-period genres, and intersections between literary and extra-literary discourses, is shown in my five-volume anthology Romanticism and Politics 1789-1832 (2006). I have also worked on several collaborative projects to publish editions of Southey’s poetry (Poetical Works 1793-1810, 2004; Later Poetical Works 1811-1838, 2012) and letters, The Collected Letters, Parts 1-4; 2009-2013, a free-to-view online edition for the web-publishers Romantic Circles. I have written articles, essays and a book (Writing the Empire: Robert Southey and Romantic Colonialism, 2007) on Southey’s representations of travel, exploration and colonialism, and I attend national and international conferences to promote my research. My most recent publication is a scholarly edition of Southey’s Letters from England (2016). This entertaining and informative account of a fictitious Spanish tourist’s travels in England at the beginning of the nineteenth century, provides a historical commentary on every aspect of British society, from fashions and manners, to political and religious beliefs.

My teaching reflects my research interests. I am responsible for delivering the first-year undergraduate module 'Analysing Poetry: Metre, Form and Meaning’, and the third-year module 'Romantic Writings, 1815-1832'. I have also taught on modules from the Early Modern and Victorian periods, and I currently teach on ‘Eighteenth-Century Literature’, as well as supervising many third-year dissertation projects. I enjoy teaching a range of year groups and subject areas.

My research centres on the British Romantic period and in particular writing that engages with exploration or colonial politics. A major focus of my work is Robert Southey (1774-1843); a neglected member of the 'Lake School' of writers who as an ideologue of empire played a crucial role in Romantic-period culture.

My most recent publication is a scholarly edition of Southey's Letters from England (Routledge, 2016), a large-scale project to re-publish his 1807 work, for which I had funding from the British Academy. This uniquely fascinating travelogue combines fictional accounts with social commentary to create a complex work of literary merit that appeals to a general readership, as well as students and scholars of Romantic-period literature and social history.

I publish articles and essays on Romantic prose and poetry, and particularly on writings that represent travel, colonialism, race and slavery. In the longer term I am working on a monograph that examines the ‘politics of place’ in attitudes to global exploration and colonial settlement in the Romantic period.

I am currently supervising PhD students who are working on Jane Austen, Frances Burney, and literary representations of female adolescence during the period 1680-1780. I have successfully supervised students working on the school of George Herbert, women playwrights in the Georgian theatre, Gothic novels of the Romantic period, and eighteenth-century representations of beauty.

I have examined PhDs on Eighteenth-Century sensibility, gender identity in mid-seventeenth-century England, the writings of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and on Robert Southey’s epic poem ‘Madoc’ (1805).

I welcome PhD proposals to research any aspect of Romantic studies.

Conference Organisation and Selected List of Presentations

‘”A New Science”: Travel and Tourism in Southey’s Lake District’, Uplandish Conference, York St John University, 30 June 2017.

‘”A new science”: Travel and Tourism in Southey’s Letters from England (1807)’, Romanticism Takes to the Hills Conference, Edge Hill University, 29 April 2017.

‘Through Spanish Eyes: Southey's social commentary in Letters from England: By Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella (1807)’, Robert Southey and the Bristol Poets Conference, Bristol, 15 July 2015.

Co-organiser of Robert Southey and the Bristol Poets Conference (in conjunction with the Friends of Coleridge Society and De Montfort University), Bristol, 15 July 2015.

‘Blurred Vision on the Tourist Trail: The Lake District Views of Don Manuel Espriella (and Coleridge and Wordsworth)’, Coleridge Summer Conference, Cannington College, Somerset, 28 July-1 August 2014.

‘”Once more I will cry aloud and spare not”: Southey the abolitionist?’, Eighteenth-Century Poetry Conference, Loughborough University, 28-30 September 2013.

Co-presenter of panel on ‘Editing Southey’s Letters’, Third International Southey

Conference: Robert Southey and Romanticism: The Lake School in Context, Keswick, Cumbria, 29-31 July 2013.

‘Through Spanish Eyes: Southey's Double Vision in Letters from England: By Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella (1807), Third International Southey Conference: Robert Southey and Romanticism: The Lake School in Context, Keswick, Cumbria, 29-31 July 2013.

Co-organiser of a day conference - as Midlands Romantic Seminar Coordinator – with the Midlands Interdisciplinary Victorian Studies Seminar, Loughborough University, 13 January 2012.

‘Through Spanish Eyes: Southey’s Social Commentary in Letters from England (1807)’, Southey and European Romanticism Conference, Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies and the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, 27-28 June 2011.

‘Through Spanish eyes: Southey's social commentary in Letters from England’, English & Welsh Diaspora Conference, Loughborough University, April 13-16, 2011.

Co-organiser and administrator as well as co-presenter of a session entitled ‘Editing the Letters of Robert Southey’ at Second International Southey Conference:  Robert Southey and Romantic Contexts, Keswick, Cumbria, 14-16 April 2010.

‘Colonial Columnists’, Eighteenth-Century Research Seminar, University of Nottingham, 23 February 2010.

‘Solving ‘the problem of the Niger’: John Barrow’s Communications with the Colonial Office and the Quarterly Review', Romantic Explorations, Gesellschaft für Englische Romantik (German Society for English Romanticism), Koblenz University, Germany, October 2009.

Organiser of a panel at Byron and Women (and Men) Conference – as Midlands Romantic Seminar Coordinator – Nottingham Trent University, 2 May 2009.

Organiser of Regional Romanticism Conference for the Midlands Romantic Seminar, Loughborough University, November 2008.

Joint organiser of a day conference - as Midlands Romantic Seminar Coordinator - and chair of the Postgraduate Panel, Eighteenth-Century Gothic Conference, Sheffield University, October 2008.

Co-organiser and administrator of Robert Southey and the Contexts of Romanticism Conference, Keswick, Cumbria, 17-19 March 2008 (in conjunction with an exhibition at the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery: ‘Robert Southey: Keswick’s Entire Man of Letters’, and a conference visit to Southey’s home at Greta Hall in Keswick).

‘National Identities in the National Press’, (Trans)national Identities/Reimagining Communities Conference, Centro Interdisciplinare di Studi Romantici and North American Society for the Study of Romanticism, Bologna, Italy, 12-15 March 2008.

From 2008-2013, Coordinator of the Midlands Romantic Seminar, organising and publicising events within Romantic Studies at Swansea University, Warwick University, University of Sheffield, Nottingham University, Nottingham Trent University, Leicester University and Loughborough University.

‘Robert Southey: Writing the Empire’, Emancipation, Liberation, Freedom Conference, North American Society for the Study of Romanticism and British Association for Romantic Studies, Bristol, 26-29 July 2007.