Dr Nicola Darwood

Senior Lecturer in English Literature

Course Coordinator for MA English Literature and BA (Hons) Education Studies

Nicola Darwood

I studied for my BA in English and Cultural Studies at De Montfort University and then continued at the university to study for a PhD in English Literature, focusing on the fiction of Elizabeth Bowen.

I have been teaching at the University of Bedfordshire since 2009. I am Unit Leader for four units: a first year core unit, 'Practising Ideas'; a second year unit, 'Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature' and two third year optional units, 'Modern Irish Literature' and 'Gothic Literature'.

In addition I supervise third year dissertations students; previous students have written on a number of texts and authors including Jane Austen, D H Lawrence, Oscar Wilde, the Cinderella story, narratology and gothic fiction.

In the past I have also taught Romantic and Victorian fiction, 'Practical Writing' which encompasses aspects of academic, business and creative writing and 'The Modern Age' which focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century literature.


  • PhD in English Literature, De Montfort University
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice
  • BA (Hons) in English and Cultural Studies, De Montfort University

Teaching expertise

I am Unit Leader and teach on four courses across the undergraduate English Studies programme:

  • Practising Ideas (year 1)
  • Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature (year 2)
  • Modern Irish Literature (year 3)
  • Gothic Literature (year 3)

I also the unit leader for 'Reading Ulysses', an MA unit on our MA in English Literature, and contribute to two other MA units: 'Children and Young Adult's Fiction' and 'Literature and Modernity in the Long Twentieth Century'.

External roles

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Co-editor of The Elizabeth Bowen Review
  • Member of the Literature Advisory Board for Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Research interests

  • The life and work of Stella Benson
  • The life and work of Elizabeth Bowen
  • Women writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
  • BLAST and the Modernist period


  • 2010. 'Eviction from Eden: The Fiction of Elizabeth Bowen' in The Glass, No.22, Spring 2010, pp.41-49.2009. 'Empty Boxes, Empty Spaces: Elizabeth Bowen's The Little Girls' in McNair, A and Ryder, J (eds) in Further From the Frontiers: Crosscurrents in Irish and Scottish Studies. Aberdeen: AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, pp. 11-20.
  • 2012. A World of Lost Innocence: The fiction of Elizabeth Bowen. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publications.
  • The Elizabeth Bowen Review, volume 1 (2018) (Co-editor with Dr Nicholas Turner, Salford University)

Recent conference papers

  • Politics and “the Woman Question” in Mary Cholmondeley’s Red Pottage (1899) and Stella Benson’s I Pose (1915) - The Mark Rutherford Symposium: Literature and 'The Woman Question' - University of Bedfordshire, June 2018.
  • '[W]hat a small gift it was': Stella Benson and I Pose (1915) - English: Shared Futures, Newcastle, July 2017
  • 'Enter a murderer: Nancy Spain's Cinderella goes to the Morgue' - All about Cinderella: retellings in the cultural imagination, University of Bedfordshire, June 2017.
  • ''No one is incapable of boiling a kettle' - Elizabeth Bowen: a reevaluation, University of Bedfordshire, May 2017.
  • ‘Stella Benson: a life of reading, writing and publishing’ – SHARP (Society for History, Authorship and Publication) Annual Conference, BNF and BULAC, Paris, July 2016
  • ‘‘The violent destruction of solid things’: Elizabeth Bowen’s wartime short stories’ – International Conference on Elizabeth Bowen: Warsaw, July 2016
  • ‘Flying Dangerously: Elizabeth Bowen’s To the North’ – ‘Flying through the Thirties’, Croydon Aerodrome Hotel, March 2016
  • ‘Generation and Regeneration: A tale of Helen’s Babies’ – SHARP (Society for History, Authorship and Publication) Annual Conference, University of Sherbrooke at Longueuil/McGill University, Montreal, July 2015.
  • ‘Stella Benson and Living Alone: a real book for real people?’ – ‘Making it New’, De Montfort University, Leicester, February 2015.
  • 'Crossing Borders: the fantastical world of Stella Benson's Living Alone' – 'Crossing the Space Between, 1914-1945' – Annual conference of The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945, July 2014.
  • 'Crooked teeth and fleas the size of bumblebees: the subversive world of Elizabeth Taylor's Mossy Trotter' – 'The Hockliffe Conference: Conflict in Children's and Young Adult Fiction', University of Bedfordshire, September 2013.
  • 'Travel agencies and trinket shops: representations of women of business in Elizabeth Bowen's fiction' – IAMCR Annual Conference, Dublin City University, Dublin, June 2013.
  • ''Moving Dangerously': Fatal Flights in Elizabeth Bowen's To the North' - 'Moving Dangerously: Women and Travel, 1850-1950', Newcastle University, April 2012.
  • 'Elizabeth Bowen and a Tale of Two Tigers' – 'Sound, Image, Text', ISSCL Annual Conference, Trinity College, Dublin, March 2010.

Recent Conference organisation

  • Co-organiser - The Mark Rutherford Symposium: Literature and 'The Woman Question' - University of Bedfordshire, June 2018.
  • Co-organiser - Elizabeth Bowen: a reevaluation, University of Bedfordshire, May 2017.
  • Convenor - All about Cinderella: retellings in the cultural imagination, University of Bedfordshire, June 2017.

Research Students

I am currently the Director of Studies for two PhD students; the first is exploring deviancy in George R R Martin's A Game of Thrones and the second is focusing on representations of crime and punishment in children's fiction of the 18th and 19th century (her work is based on the Hockliffe Collection of children's fiction which is held by the University of Bedfordshire).

Recently I have been the second supervisor for a PhD student who wrote about the adoption and adaptation of the legends of King Arthur (awarded December 2015) and the Director of Studies for an MARes in eighteenth and nineteenth amatory fiction (awarded March 2014).

I welcome enquiries from potential PhD students and particularly those who wish to work on early twentieth century women writers.

Contact details

T: +44 (0)1234 793106
E: nicola.darwood@beds.ac.uk

Bedfordshire University

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