Dr Penny Bradshaw, PhD

  • Associate Professor of English Literature; Programme Lead for MA Literature, Romanticism, and the English Lake District; Theme Lead for Cultural Landscapes within CNPPA.
  • Institute of Education - Arts and Society
  • Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA)
  • Media Arts
Dr Penny Bradshaw, PhD


Penny Bradshaw studied in Lancaster both as an undergraduate and as a postgraduate.  Her PhD explored the newly recovered work of two female Romantic poets: Anna Barbauld and Charlotte Smith, and Penny continues to work and publish primarily within the field of British Romanticism.  Penny worked briefly at Lancaster University before taking up her present post at the University of Cumbria. Penny was Programme Leader for the English Literature programme from 2001-2021 and is currently Programme Leader for the MA in Literature, Romanticism, and the English Lake District, which is based at our Ambleside campus.

Qualifications and memberships

Penny has a BA in English, an MA in Contemporary Literary Studies, and a PhD from Lancaster University. She is Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a member of both the British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) and the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE-UK). Penny is also an Editorial Board Member for Romanticism: Life, Literature and Landscape - a digital resource which allows scholars of Romanticism unique access to the digitised manuscript collections of the Wordsworth Trust, including the working notebooks, verse manuscripts and correspondence of Wordsworth and his circle.

Academic and research interests

Undergraduate Teaching

Penny has taught on a number of undergraduate English Literature modules, including Romantic Literature, Victorian Writing, Children’s Literature and Contemporary Women’s Writing. She developed a final year module which grew out of her research on British Romanticism and the Lake District and a second year module which looked at the wider relevance of English studies within the world of work, and especially within the regional cultural heritage industry.

Postgraduate Teaching

Penny currently teaches on the MA in Literature, Romanticism, and the English Lake District.  She leads on modules which explore Romantic literary circles based in the Lakes, Children's Literature and the Lake District, and Poetry and Place.  In addition Penny teaches on a module which considers how literary tourism has shaped our perceptions of Cumbria and which explores the contemporary regional cultural heritage industry.

Research interests and current projects

Romanticism and especially women’s writing of the Romantic period; nineteenth-century poetry; regional writing – particularly Romantic regionalism and the legacy of Romanticism within later Cumbrian poetry and fiction. Penny is currently completing work on a number of projects relating to Romantic and post-Romantic literary responses to Cumbria and is gathering material for a new book-length critical study on Romanticism and the English Lakes. 

Penny is also very interested in literary tourism.  She works with various external partners and regularly runs literary-themed walks and tours. She also recently led on a UKRI funded project to explore the role of literature in promoting more diverse engagement with rural landscapes. This resulted in the commissioning of new poetry by the Indian-born poet, Reshma Ruia. The new poems have been published on the University's Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas website

Areas of possible research supervision

Poetry and fiction by Romantic–era women writers; Religion and Romanticism; Politics in Romantic literature; Regional Romanticism; Contemporary Cumbrian Poetry and Fiction.

Research supervision

Current Doctoral Supervisor roles:

Meghann Hillier-Broadley: 'Norman Nicholson and the Anthropocene'.

Patricia Lean: 'Kiss the Cold Goodbye - Nan Shepherd's The Living Mountain in painting practice: an ecocritical analysis'. 

Garth Lindrup: 'Poetry as Property: An Investigation into the concepts of authorship, originality and literary property as they evolved [in England] in the period from Pope to Wordsworth'.

Nada Saadaoui: 'An exploration of the Female Walker and the Transformative Effect of Walking in Jane Austen’s Landscapes'. 

Gail Stanley: From Dove Cottage to Rydal Mount: Wordsworth’s pivotal decade, (1805-1815).




Edited and Introduced, Ann Radcliffe's Observations during a Tour to the Lakes (Hobnob Press, 2024)

Edited and Introduced, The Lake Poems of John Wilson (Bookcase, 2012)

Tour Guides

A Literary Walking Tour of Carlisle (Inspired by Lakeland, autumn 2023)

A Literary Walking Tour of Ambleside (Inspired by Lakeland, 2021)

Literary Lancaster (Lancaster City Council, 2016) 

Journal articles

  • 'Experiments in Travel Writing and Romantic Constructions of Place: Ann Radcliffe’s 1795 Account of Tours in Continental Europe and the English Lake District' (European Romantic Review, in press).

  • ‘Romantic Recluses and Humble Cottages: Charlotte Smith’s Ethelinde and the Literary Construction of Grasmere’, Women’s Writing (August 2017) http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09699082.2017.1355516

  • '“A task of glory all thine own”: Hannah More and Early Nineteenth-Century British Women’s Biblical Poetry,’Women’s Studies 43:5 (2014), 641-664
  • ‘“Living at our Full Compass”: Michael Roberts and the Poetry of Mountaineering’,The Alpine Journal 116 (2012), 229-237
  • ‘Romantic Poetic Identity and the English Lake District’, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society, 11 (2011), pp. 65-80.
  • ‘The Limits of Barbauld’s Feminism: Re-Reading “The Rights of Woman”, European Romantic Review, 16:1 (January 2005), 23-37
  • ‘Dystopian Futures: Time Travel and Millenarian Visions in the poetry of Anna Barbauld and Charlotte Smith’, Romanticism on the Net, 21 (February 2001)
  • ‘Gendering the Enlightenment: Conflicting Images of Progress in the Poetry of Anna Letitia Barbauld’, Women’s Writing, 5:3 (Autumn 1998), 355-373

Essays / Chapters in books

  • 'Romantic Literary Geographies', The Routledge Handbook of Literary Geography (Routledge - forthcoming)
  • 'Defined "as much by their absence as their iconography": Reimagining Wolves in Cumbria in Sarah Hall’s The Wolf Border,The Wolf: Culture, Nature, Heritage ed. by Ian Convery et al (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2023), pp. 99-106.
  • ‘Our “great entail”: Romantic Literary Travel Writing and the Concept of Natural Heritage’, in Shifting Interpretations of Natural Heritage, ed. Ian Convery (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2016), pp. 63-71.
  • ‘Cumbrians and their ‘ancient kingdom’: Landscape, Literature and Regional Identity’, in Making Sense of Place, ed. Ian Convery ed. Ian Convery et al (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2012), pp. 33-41.
  • ‘Women Romantic Poets,’ in The Blackwell Companion to the Bible in English Literature (Oxford: Blackwell, 2009), pp. 383-96
  • ‘The Politics of the Platter: Charlotte Smith and “The Science of Eating,”’ in Cultures of Taste/Theories of Appetite: Eating Romanticism, ed. by Timothy Morton (Palgrave: New York, 2004), pp. 59-76
  • ‘Charlotte Brontë’ and ‘Amelia Opie’ in Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760-1850, ed. by Christopher John Murray, 2 vols (New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2004), pp. 122-124 (vol. 1) and pp. 830-831 (vol. 2)

Recent external roles

  • 2023-(current) On Board of Trustees for The Armitt Museum and Library.
  • 2022-(current) On Board of Trustees for the Cumbria County History Trust
  • 2021-(current) External Examiner for MLitt Environment, Culture and Communication, University of Glasgow 
  • 2020-(current) On Board of Directors for the Norman Nicholson House Community Interest Company 
  • 2017-18 Member of Borderlines: Carlisle Book Festival steering group
  • 2012 External Examiner for MA thesis on 'Hardy and Landscape,' Manchester Metropolitan University 
  • 2011- 12 Editorial Board Member for Romanticism: Life, Literature and Landscape (digital resource published by Adam Matthew Digital and Adam Matthew Publications using archives held by The Wordsworth Trust, 2012)
  • Reviewer for Green Letters (Peer Reviewed journal for the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment - ASLE-UK).