After completing a degree in English Language and Literature at Leeds University, I continued to study for an MA in Victorian Literature, which I passed with distinction. The intellectual buzz of learning about major nineteenth-century texts was such that I could contemplate no other life than as an English teacher or academic and so I embarked on a PhD in Literature at Cambridge University. At this stage in my career my research interests were rooted in the Victorian period and my thesis explored the careers and writings of George Eliot, the Brontes and Elizabeth Gaskell. Throughout my time at Cambridge I delivered classes on Practical Criticism and Victorian contexts, and my experience of small group teaching was extended when I joined Liverpool University as a teacher on their Victorian and Modern Literature courses. I have published articles in the English Review and the Journal of Victorian Culture.
Since qualifying as a secondary teacher in 2005, I have taught English to students from 11-18 and enjoy the challenge of making my subject accessible and inspiring to all. Teaching texts from across the canon has meant that my own literary tastes have developed significantly over the years and I have developed a keen interest in Renaissance Literature, modern and contemporary poetry and the American novel.
So, why this new venture? As an English teacher I regularly come into contact with parents of students who confess to living vicariously through their child’s education with limited access to anything of a similar standard and style in the world of adult education. Historically, continuing education has been an integral part of British culture, so I was surprised to discover how under served literary-starved adults are by the current market; government cuts have threatened the survival of local college-run courses while corporate marketing has squeezed the life out of literary study in many further education institutions. Living Room Literature is my commitment to filling the gap.
If you are a mature student, looking for an excellent education with a personal touch and in a friendly venue, then I would love to hear from you.