UCL English


Dr Jane Darcy


Email: j.darcy@ucl.ac.uk


Jane Darcy

Education and Experience 

Jane is an honorary lecturer in the department where she previously held a British Academy postdoctoral fellowship. She did her undergraduate degree at Somerville College Oxford and her MA and PhD at King's College London.

Research Interests

Her research interests are in the literature and culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in particular the Romantic period. She has written on melancholy throughout this period with a focus on life-writing. She is currently working on two projects: the theory and practice of comedy in the nineteenth century and the phenomenon of the Isle of Wight as a mecca for writers and artists in the Romantic and Victorian periods.


Jane's monograph,  Melancholy and Literary Biography, 1640-1816 was published by Palgrave in 2013. It looks at the development of literary biography across the period, focusing on a number of experimental Lives of the 1790s. It argues that many biographers use their subjects’ melancholy as a way of exploring their inner lives


She is co-editing with Dr Louise Lee (Roehampton) Victorian Comedy & Laughter: Rethinking the Page and the Stage (under contract with Palgrave).

She is also co-editing an essay collection on religious melancholy with Dr Simon Podmore (Liverpool Hope)

Articles and Chapters in Books

'Johnson, Cowper and Religious Conversion', The New Rambler (XIV, 2010-2011), pp. 47-57.


‘Contesting Literary Biography in the Romantic Period: the Foreshadowing of Psychological Biography’, in Literature Compass, 5/2, March 2008, pp. 292-309, doi: 10.1111/j.1741-4113.2007.00517.x.

‘Religious Melancholy in the Romantic period: William Cowper as Test Case’, Romanticism, Vol. 15, No. 2, November 2009, pp. 144-155.

‘The Medical Background to Currie’s Account of the Life of Burns’, European Romantic Review, Vol. 20, No. 4, November 2009, pp. 513-527.


Jane has reviewed a number of books for Times Higher Education, Review of English Studies, Romanticism, and the Keats-Shelley Review.