Sarah Featonby

  • Research Student

PhD supervisors: Dr Sarah Parker and Dr Hilary Robinson

Sarah completed her undergraduate studies at Oxford Brookes University, receiving a BA in English Studies in 2004. She went on to study for her MA at Loughborough University in Modern and Contemporary Writing 2006. Her dissertation was titled ‘Orlando’s New Eve: The Re-birth of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando in Angela Carter’s The Passion of New Eve. This study of the ‘Woolf connection’ in Carter’s work has continued into a research project investigating the ways in which making room for one’s self in publishing houses impacted on their literary legacies and provided an outlet for work in dialogue with their contemporaneous feminist movements that would not have gained an audience otherwise.

Her main research interests surround the relationships feminist authors have with their publishing houses, the impact of feminist literary theory on which works by women enter the canon, and how women writers negotiate with their cultural contexts to influence their public personas and careers. She is also interested in the publishing history of Virginia Woolf, the development of feminist literary theory, and the impact famous novelists essays and life writings have on readings of their fictional works.

Sarah also has a DipHE Educational Studies (Westminster College, Oxford); a PGCE, English (Nottingham). She has taught English and secondary level and worked with a charity safeguarding unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people.


PhD Title: A Publishing House of One’s Own: from Hogarth to Virago – Mother Woolf and the Creations of Angela Carter

This thesis investigates the relationship between writers’ access to publishing and their literary output, exploring the connections between artistic creativity and materialist control over the editing and publishing of creative works. These interactions between creators and producers of literary texts and the anxieties between the desire to create and the awareness of the need to earn from one’s writing will be studied through case studies of two writers who used publishing in practical ways to position their works in the marketplace, moving from the more avant-garde margins of the literary scene to become key figures of their contemporary literary movements. This research also explores how the use of associations within publishing can be a form of feminist praxis.

Through researching Angela Carter’s publishing history, specifically her relationship to the feminist publisher Virago, this project adds a fresh perspective to the growing focus in Carter studies on her cultural contexts and contributes to wider research projects in feminist publishing during the Women’s Movement.

Sarah is a member of the Cultural Currents research group and the CDT group: Feminism, Sexual Politics and Visual Culture.

Sarah has had a chapter accepted for publication in The Bloomsbury Handbook to Angela Carter (titled 'Our Sisters, Our Shelves: Cultural Work as Sistership Work and "Fairy God-mother" Carter').