UCL English


Dr Juliette Atkinson


Email: juliette.atkinson@ucl.ac.uk
External phone: 020 7679 3146 
Internal phone: 33146
Office: Foster Court 240

Juliette Atkinson

Education and Experience

Born in Paris, Juliette Atkinson was educated at UCL (B.A. Hons) and Oxford (M.St, ‘1900-Present’). In 2008, she completed a PhD on Victorian life-writing, funded by a UCL Graduate School Research Scholarship. From 2009 she worked as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at UCL, before becoming a Lecturer in 2012, and Associate Professor in 2018.

Research Interests

Juliette's research focuses principally on nineteenth-century English fiction (and in particular the work of George Eliot), Anglo-French literary relations, life-writing, and book history. 

She is currently writing volume 5 of the Oxford History of Life-Writing (General editor Zachary Leader), which will provide an account of Victorian autobiography, biography, diaries, letters, and travel-writing. 

Her second book, French Novels and the Victorians (OUP, 2017), took issue with the portrayal of the Victorians as insular and prudish readers, and explored attitudes towards French novels during the period. The research was funded by a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (2009-2012), and part of the research, then in progress, was awarded a New Scholars Award by the Bibliographical Society of America in 2012.

Her first book, Victorian Biography Reconsidered: a Study of Nineteenth-Century ‘Hidden’ Lives (OUP, 2010) considered the lives of obscure or minor individuals who form the subjects of Victorian biographers working against the contemporary fascination with ‘Great Men’. Working-class biographies, ‘failed’ lives, the representation of female subjects, attempted recoveries of neglected Romantic artists, and the lesser luminaries of the Dictionary of National Biography are all given close analysis.

PhD supervision

Juliette has supervised/co-supervised dissertations on Arthur Morrison and realist space, the fin-de-siècle literary agent J. P. Pinker, the literary landscape of the Victorian cemetry, newspaper poets of the South African war, nineteenth-century representations of vivisection, and Victorian cultures of self-help.

She welcomes applications from prospective PhD students eager to work on: Victorian fiction (and in particular George Eliot and Charlotte Brontë), transnational literary relations, life-writing of the long nineteenth century (biography, autobiography, letters, diaries, and travel writing).


3. The Oxford History of Life-Writing. Volume 5: The Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press. c. 2021-22). 150,000 words.

2. French Novels and the Victorians (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017). A British Academy monograph. 426pp.

1. Victorian Biography Reconsidered: A Study of Nineteenth-Century ‘Hidden’ Lives (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010). 315pp.

French Novels

Victorian Biography Reconsidered Book Cover


4. Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (Oxford: Oxford World's Classics, 2019). Introduction and notes.

3. George Eliot, Silas Marner (Oxford: Oxford World's Classics, 2017).

2. George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss (Oxford: Oxford World’s Classics, 2015.) Introduction and notes.

1. Bloom’s Classic Critical Views: George Eliot (New York: Facts on File, 2009).

Mill on the Floss
Silas Marner
Jane Eyre book cover

Articles and Chapters

10. 'Continental Currents: Paris and London', in Journalism and the Periodical Press in Nineteenth-Century Britain, ed. Joanne Shattock (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), pp. 224-44.

9. ''The most thrilling and fascinating book of the century': marketing Gustave Flaubert in late nineteenth-century England', in Transitions in Middlebrow Writing, 1880-1930, ed. Kate Macdonald and Christoph Singer (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 163-82.

8. ‘The London Library and the circulation of French fiction in the 1840s’, Information & Culture: A Journal of History (formerly Libraries and the Cultural Record), vol. 48.4 (November/December 2013), pp. 391-418.

7. ‘George Eliot’s Reception to 1900’, ‘George Eliot’s Reception 1900-1970’, and ‘George Eliot’s Reception 1970-Present’, in George Eliot in Context, ed. Margaret Harris (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 65-92. 

6. ‘Alexander the Great’: Dumas’s invasion of early-Victorian England’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (PBSA), vol. 106, no. 4 (December 2012), pp. 417-47.

5. ‘William Jeffs, Bookseller and Publisher of French Literature’, The Library: Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, vol. 13, no. 3 (September 2012), pp. 257-78.

4. ''To serve God and Mammon'': Braddon and Literary Transgression', in New Perspectives on Mary Elizabeth Braddon (NY and Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2012), pp. 133-54.

3. ‘Fin-de-siècle Female Biographers and the Reconsideration of Popular Women Writers’, in Writing Women of the Fin de Siècle: Authors of Change, ed. Adrienne Gavin and Carolyn Oulton (New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp. 111-23.

2. ‘Mary Robinson’, in Encyclopedia of Literary Romanticism, ed. Andrew Maunder (New York: Facts on File, 2010).

1. ‘“Poor sons of Adam in general, in this sad age of cobwebs”: Biography as social criticism in Thomas Carlyle’s The Life of John Sterling’. In Life Writing: The State of the Art and The Spirit of the Age, ed. Meg Jensen and Jane Jordan (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009), pp. 2-11.


Juliette's reviews include pieces for the TLS, Review of English Studies, History, Notes and Queries, and the George Eliot Review.