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Phyllis Weliver, D. Phil.


Research Interests

Victorian Literature and Culture; Music and Literature; Women’s Studies; Digital Humanities.

I love to think about literature in a historicized way that criss-crosses genres and even disciplines. My research and teaching concentrates on making connections among literature, music and other aspects of Victorian life, including liberalism, sociability, women's issues, identities of class, and discourses of science (evolutionary biology, mesmerism, multiple consciousness, group management, and theories of memory and identity). The result is a sense of 19th-century British fictional and non-fictional prose, poetry, opera, melodrama and life writing as partaking in a richly interactive intellectual and cultural history. I consider innovations in style and technique as crucial to that literary content. To communicate this rich variety, my work takes the form of traditional print publications, publicly-available digital resources, and media presentations (BBC Two Television and BBC Radio 3). My projects have been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (Fellowship, 2014; Summer Stipend, 2005) and St Catharine’s College, Cambridge (Visiting Scholar, 2013–14). I am Professor of English at Saint Louis University and Fellow of Gladstone’s Library in Wales, Britain’s only prime ministerial library.

Publications and Media Placements


Mary Gladstone and the Victorian Salon: Music, Literature, Liberalism. Cambridge University Press, 2017.

The Musical Crowd in English Fiction, 1840–1910: Class, Culture and Nation. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

Women Musicians in Victorian Fiction, 1860–1900: Representations of Music, Science and Gender in the Leisured Home. Ashgate, 2000; Routledge, 2016.

Edited Books

Words and Notes in the Long Nineteenth Century. Ed. and intro. Phyllis Weliver and Katharine Ellis. Boydell & Brewer, 2013.

The Figure of Music in Nineteenth-Century British Poetry. Ed. and intro. Phyllis Weliver. Ashgate, 2005; Routledge, 2016.

For a full portfolio, visit my  website.