Rebecca Gadd

  • Research Student

PhD TitleRecontextualising Frances Burney and her Fictional Works

Rebecca attended the University of Winchester from 2013-2016, where she gained her Bachelor’s degree in English with American Literature. At Winchester, she expanded her research interests in women’s writing, which resulted in her dissertation ‘Empowered Females: The Representation and Repression of Female Characters in the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale Collection’.

After graduating, she attended the University of Sheffield, graduating with a Master’s degree in Nineteenth Century Studies in January 2018. Her MA dissertation was entitled ‘‘Unsexed Female Writers’: Political Debate and Misconceptions in Charlotte Smith’’s Desmond and Frances Burney’s The Wanderer’, and was the foundation of her current research.

Rebecca started her PhD at Loughborough University in October 2018, the subject of which is a reconstruction of the legacy of eighteenth century author Frances Burney. Her thesis is a continuation of her work from her MA dissertation, and seeks to re-evaluate Burney’s legacy in light of themes and subjects in her fictional works that would have been considered more radical or controversial at the time of their publication.

Rebecca’s thesis centres on the fictional works of Frances Burney (1752-1840). Her main focus for this research is on how Burney portrays social and political issues that would have been controversial given their historical contexts, and she seeks to contextualise these subjects, both within eighteenth-century society and within Burney’s life. She seeks to discuss how these issues are portrayed in a fictional setting and within previous research on Burney and her fictional works. Given the findings, her thesis will also discuss the extent to which these themes may alter our current perceptions of Burney as a writer and dramatist.