Professor John Gardner

Professor of English Literature; Admissions Tutor; International Exchange and Study Abroad Partnerships and Erasmus Coordinator

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Literature

Courses taught: English Literature, Philosophy and English Literature, Writing and English Literature, English Literature

John teaches all areas of English literature, from Chaucer to the present day. Nonetheless his main areas of research are in 18th- and 19th-century literature and culture.


John began teaching at Anglia Ruskin in 2004, having previously taught at the University of Glasgow where he had worked since 1999. John greatly enjoys teaching and is fortunate to teach students from first year undergraduate to PhD level. He has won a University teaching Fellowship and was one of three people selected by Anglia Ruskin to go forward for a National Teaching Fellowship.

John’s other great passion is research. His findings are disseminated in various ways, such as the monograph – John’s book Poetry and Popular Protest; Peterloo, Cato Street and the Queen Caroline Controversy (2011) was shortlisted for the ESSE book award; articles – some of which can be read from links on this web page; and oral papers. He is one of the recipients of the Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship 2019 for his project Turning the screw: literature, technology and culture.

John has delivered talks around the world including the USA, India, France and, closer to home, Saffron Walden Library.

Research interests

  • Romantic and Victorian poetry and drama
  • illustrators in the romantic period
  • eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature
  • poetry and conflict
  • text and image
  • Scottish literature

Areas of research supervision

John will be pleased to consider supervising postgraduate students with the following research interests:

  • Romantic and Victorian poetry and drama
  • illustrators in the romantic period
  • politics and nineteenth-century literature
  • poetry and conflict.

Recent and current PhD supervision as First Supervisor

  • Dr Peter Cook: 'The Romantic Influence on Dickens' (2013-2017)
  • Dr Eleanor Crouch: 'Frances Burney' (2009-2012)
  • Dr Kirsty Harris: 'Shipwrecks and Loss in Romantic Period Poetry' (2012-2016)
  • Dr Kate Morrison: 'Illegality in Detective and Spy Fiction; 1880-1919' (2012-2017)
  • Dr Steven White: 'Conservative Poetry of the 1790s' (2011-2016)
  • Sabina Akram: 'Robert Southey and The Doctor (current)
  • Abderrezzak Ghafsi: ‘The reception and influence of Charles Dickens on Algerian Literature and culture’ (current)
  • Anne-Louise Russell: 'Novels, Magazines and Women's Rights: Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Florence Marryat, Charlotte Riddell, Ellen Wood' (2013-2016)
  • Sue Dean: 'The Works of Mary Mann' (current)
  • Sophie Phelps: 'Dickens and the Adult Child' (current)


  • PhD, Glasgow
  • MA
  • PGCE, Anglia Ruskin University

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship 2019
  • Consultant, BBC Culture Show on Shelley and the Peterloo Massacre (2014)
  • Consultant and interviewee on BBC2 programme Portillo's State Secrets (2015)
  • External examiner, Oxford Brookes University (2008-2012)
  • External examiner, The University of Hertfordshire (2009-2013)
  • External examiner, The University of East Anglia (2012-2016)
  • External Examiner, University of Coventry (2015-)
  • External Examiner, Northumbria University (2015-)
  • Editorial Board of The John Clare Journal

Selected recent publications


Gardner, J., 2011. Poetry and Popular Protest; Peterloo, Cato Street and the Queen Caroline Controversy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Refereed journal articles

Gardner, J., 2014. William Hone's Peterloo. The Manchester Region History Review.

Gardner, J., 2013. Preventing Revolution: Cato Street, Bonnymuir, and Cathkin. Studies in Scottish Literature, 39(1), pp.160-180.

Gardner, J., 2013. Charles Lamb and the Manchester Observer. Notes and Queries.

Gardner, J., 2012. Caroline and Cobbett. Cahiers Pluridisciplinaires d'Études Littéraires, Artistiques et Culturelles.

Gardner, J., 2012. Cobbett the Spy? Romanticism.

Gardner, J., 2011. William Hone's 'New Vision of Judgment'. The Wordsworth Circle (XLII, 1).

Gardner, J., 2007. Samuel Bamford's Mythmaking. Romanticism.

Gardner, J., 2005. The Death of Byron's Doge in Marino Faliero. Notes and Queries, 250(1).

Gardner, J., 2003. Shelley's 'slop-merchant from Wapping'. Notes and Queries, 248(3).

Gardner, J., 2003. Hobhouse, Cato Street and Marino Faliero. The Byron Journal, 31

Gardner, J., 2002. From Poverty to Guilt. The Keats-Shelley Review, 16.

Gardner, J., 2001. Caroline, Lamb and Swellfoot. The Charles Lamb Bulletin, 113.

Contributions to books

‘William Hone, Pierce Egan and the de-politicization of Popular Literature’ in The Regency Revisited, eds. Tim Fulford and Michael Sinatra (London: Palgrave, 2016)

‘Cobbett’s Return to England in 1819’ in William Cobbett, Romanticism and the Enlightenment (London, Pickering and Chatto, 2015)

‘Elements of Political and Social Protest Writing’ in Atherton, Green and Snapper (authors and eds.), Teaching English Literature 16-19 (Cambridge: CUP, 2015)

Gardner, J., 2014. Theatre and the Romantic Canon: The Case of Byron's Marino. In: Swindells, J. and Taylor, D.F. (Ed.). The Oxford Handbook of the Georgian Theatre 1737-1832. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gardner, J., 2004. The Times Book of English Verse. Edited by Edward Leeson with notes by John Gardner, Edward Leeson and Michael Munro. Glasgow: Collins.

Recent presentations and conferences

'Pierce Egan and William Hone', University of California at Berkeley, 2016.

'Poetry after Waterloo', Literature and History Conference, University Centre Suffolk, 2016.

'Engineering and Literary Cultures', at the International Conference of the European Society for Periodical Research, The Nordic Museum, Stockholm, Sweden, 2015.

'Cobbett's return to England in 1819' at Cobbett at 250, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, 13 September 2013.

'Continuing After Defeat; "Radical Anger" and the Established Church' at The Making of the English Working Class: Fifty Years On, Anglia Ruskin University, 11 May 2013.

'Radicalism in the 1820s' at Making a Darkness Visible: The Literary Moment 1820-1840, The Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle, 19 April, 2013.

'The Clerical Magistrate', Modern Languages Association Conference, January 2013.

'From Hone to Egan; Radicalism and Popular Literature', University of Hertfordshire, April 2012.

'Radical Print Culture from 1815 to 1822', Cambridge University Library, February 2012.

'Lessons in Repression', The British Association of Romantic Studies Conference, University of Glasgow, July 2011.

'William Hone's Parodies of Byron and Southey', University of Northumbria, 2010.

'Southey and Hone', Southey and Romantic Contexts Conference, Nottingham Trent University (Keswick), 2010.

'Peterloo, Cato Street and Caroline' at Saffron Walden Town Library, 2010.

'The Blairquhan Project', conference on European Romanticism, Paris, 2010.

'Battles for Representation: The Events of 1819-20', The Portico Library, Manchester, 2010.

'Charles Lamb's poems for The Champion', The Charles Lamb Society, Swedenborg Hall, London, 2010.

'Byron, Class, and the Cato Street Conspiracy'. University of Delhi, 2009.

'The De-radicalization of Popular Literature'. University of Delhi, 2009.

'Four Visions of Judgment'. British Association of Romantic Studies International Conference, Roehampton University, 2009.

'Sharpening ideas; Piece Egan and the Illustrated Novel'. University of Aberdeen, 2008.