UCL English


Professor 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

Juliette Atkinson was educated at UCL (B.A. Hons) and Oxford (M.St, ‘1900-Present’; Christ Church). 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, Associate Professor in 2018, and Professor in 2023.

Research Interests

Juliette's research focuses on three main areas: 

  • Nineteenth-century fiction: she has a particular interest in the work of George Eliot. She has written the introduction, notes, and appendix for the Oxford World's Classics edition of George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss, and has edited Eliot's Silas Marner, also for Oxford World's Classics. She has published articles on Eliot, and her Very Short Introduction to George Eliot for OUP (2024), and The Oxford Handbook of George Eliot (which she is co-editing with Elisha Cohn, of Cornell University), will appear soon. Her second book (see below) explored the influence of French fiction on Victorian novelists and their reviewers, and she is also interested in the work of Charlotte Brontë - she published a new introduction, notes and appendices for the Oxford World's Classics edition of Jane Eyre in 2019. Juliette convenes the undergraduate Victorian Period course in the department. 
  • Life-writing: Juliette's first book, Victorian Biography Reconsidered: a Study of Nineteenth-Century ‘Hidden’ Lives (OUP, 2010), funded by a UCL scholarship, 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. She is currently finishing volume 5 of the Oxford History of Life-Writing (General editor Zachary Leader), which will provide an account of nineteenth-century autobiography, biography, diaries, letters, and travel narratives. She was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (September 2020-January 2022) for this research.
  • Transnational networks: Juliette's second book, French Novels and the Victorians (OUP, 2017), made use of both book history and close reading approaches to take issue with the common portrayal of the Victorians as insular and prudish readers. It considered the publishing and cosmopolitan networks which disseminated French literature in England, the complexities of Victorian (self-)censorship and censoriousness, and debates concerning foreign literary influence, interference and national literary protectionism. 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 current research on life-writing maintains her interest in international exchange, and explores writing from across the globe.


4. George Eliot: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2024). 35,000 words.

3. The Oxford History of Life-Writing. Volume 5: The Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, c.2024). 150,000 words.

2. French Novels and the Victorians (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017). A British Academy monograph. 426pp. Reviewed in: Victorian Review; Victorian Periodical Reviews; Nineteenth-century Contexts; Nineteenth-century literature; French Studies; Nineteenth-century French Studies; Cahiers victoriens et edouardiens; English Historical Review; French History; H-France.

1. Victorian Biography Reconsidered: A Study of Nineteenth-Century ‘Hidden’ Lives (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010). 315pp. Reviewed in: TLS; Victorian Studies; Journal of Victorian Culture; Victorian Review; Life Writing; Journal of British Studies; Biography; George Eliot Review; Notes and Queries.

French Novels

Victorian Biography Reconsidered Book Cover

Editorial role

Juliette is the Victorian/Modern Period Editor for The Review of English Studies, published by Oxford University Press. 

Edited Book

With Elisha Cohn (Cornell), The Oxford Handbook of George Eliot (Oxford: Oxford University Press, c. 2024). 400,000 words, 50 contributors. 


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

11. 'Journals', in The Oxford Handbook of George Eliot, ed. Juliette Atkinson and Elisha Cohn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, c. 2024). 8,000 words.

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.

PhD supervision

Juliette has supervised/co-supervised dissertations on Arthur Morrison and realist space, the fin-de-siècle literary agent J. P. Pinker, the Victorian doll's house, the literary landscape of the Victorian cemetery, 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 (especially George Eliot), transnational literary relations, and life-writing of the long nineteenth century.