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English and Creative Writing

Photo of Professor Joanne Parker

Professor Joanne Parker

Associate Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture


Joanne Parker is Associate Professor in Victorian Literatureand Culture in the Department of English. She researches the relationships between history, legend, place and identity - particularly in the literature and culture of the long nineteenth century. With Dr Corinna Wagner, she was part of the AHRC-funded project Community, Identity and Victorian Medievalism, and she was one of ten researchers working on the five-year EU-funded project The Past in its Place. She teaches options in British Children's Literature and British Cultures (for inbound year-abroad students), and contributes to the teaching of The Legend of King Arthur (MA and undergraduate modules) and Empire Decadence and Modernity. She supervises dissertations on children's literature, historical literature, Victorian literature and Victoriana, medievalism. fantasy, myth, legend and fairytale. 

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  • Medievalism
  • Literature and the landscape
  • National and regional identities
  • Historical fiction
  • National myths and legends
  • Victorian literature and culture

Joanne Parker is interested in the relationships between history, myths, place, and identity. Her latest book Britannia Obscura (Jonathan Cape, 2014) investigates competing senses of the shape of Britain, through a mixture of historical and literary accounts and oral histories. She is particularly interested in medievalism - the re-imagining of medieval history at different periods - and is a co-investigator (with Dr Corinna Wagner) on the AHRC-funded project 'Community, Identity and Victorian Medievalism in South West England'. Her other recent book is a co-written exhibition catalogue, Art and Soul: The Victorians and the Gothic (Sansom, 2014), produced to accompany an exhibition of the same name, which is part of this project. The exhibition (which has been co-curated by Joanne Parker and Corinna Wagner) will run at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, from November 2014 to April 2015.

With Prof. Philip Schwyzer, Prof, Sarah Hamilton, Dr David Harvey, Dr Nicola Whyte, and Dr Naomi Howell (and other colleagues at the University of Chester) Joanne Parker is also part of the five-year, EU-funded project The Past in its Place, which looks at the 'history of memory' in a range of English and Welsh locales (focusing in particular on three types of place - Cathedral Tombs and Memorials, Ancient Habitations, and Local Landscapes). This project, which investigates the ways in which individuals and communities have imagined, appropriated, and re-invented the past from the early medieval period to the present day, will result in a series of three co-authored books.   

Joanne Parker's earlier work focused on Victorian reinventions of the past - in particular on the mythologisation of historical figures in the nineteenth century, and the influence of this upon modern culture. Her first book, England's Darling: The Victorian Cult of Alfred the Great (Manchester University Press, 2009; paperback 2014) examined the nineteenth-century fascination with the Saxon King Alfred - in literature, but also in fine art, political rhetoric, and public commemoration. She has also worked on the Victorian legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood, and on the nineteenth-century fascination with stone circles and other megalithic monuments. She was reseearch assistant on the AHRC-funded project, The Image of the Druid, 1500-2000, with Professor Ronald Hutton, and as part of this edited two volumes of essays: Written on Stone: The Cultural History of British Prehistoric Monuments (CSP, 2009) and The Harp and the Constitution: Myths of Celtic and Gothic Origin (Brill, forthcoming).

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Copyright Notice: Any articles made available for download are for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the copyright holder.

| 2019 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2007 |



  • Parker JM. (2016) Death Imitating Art at Castle an Dinas, Spirits of Place, Daily Grail, 119-141.


  • Parker JM. (2015) 'A Tale of Two Kings: The "Celtic" Arthur and the "Gothic" Alfred', The Harp and the Constitution: Myths of Celtic and Gothic Origin, Brill, 97-115.
  • Parker J. (2015) The Harp and the Constitution Myths of Celtic and Gothic Origin, Brill Academic Publishers.


  • Parker JM. (2014) Imagining the Middle Ages, Art and Soul: Victorians and the Gothic, Sansom, 7-39.
  • Wagner CM. (2014) Victorian Resurrections: Gothic and the challenges of modernity, Art & Soul: Victorians and the Gothic, Sansom.
  • Parker JM. (2014) Britannia Obscura: Mapping Hidden Britain, Jonathan Cape, DOI:10.7765/9781526130563.00010.


  • Parker JM. (2011) Ruling the Waves: Saxons, Vikings, and the Sea in the Formation of an Anglo-British Identity in the Nineteenth Century, The Sea and Englishness in the Middle Ages, D S Brewer.
  • Parker JM. (2011) 'Brunanburh and the Victorian Imagination', The Battle of Brunanburh: A Casebook, University of Exeter Press, 385-407.


  • Parker JM. (2010) Sensation and Superstition in The Book of Werewolves, The Transactions of the Sabine Baring Gould Appreciation Society, volume 10, pages 66-77.


  • Parker J. (2009) Written on Stone: The Cultural History of British Prehistoric Monuments, Cambridge Scholars.
  • Parker J. (2009) 'The Poetry of Prehistory', The Cultural History of British Prehistoric Monuments, Cambridge Scholars, 49-66.
  • Parker JM. (2009) ‘The Dragon and the Raven: Saxons, Danes and the Problem of Defining National Character in Victorian England’, European Journal of English Studies, no. 13:5, pages 257-275, DOI:10.1080/13825570903223525. [PDF]
  • Parker JM. (2009) ‘More wondrous far than Eygpt's boasted pyramids': the South West’s Megaliths in the Romantic Period’, Romanticism and the West Country, Palgrave, 15-36.


  • Parker JM. (2007) England's Darling: The Victorian Cult of Alfred the Great, Manchester University Press.

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