Dr Alexander Freer, Lucy Cavendish




Biographical Information

I'm Lecturer and Director of Studies at Lucy Cavendish College. I grew up in the North West of England, and studied English at Warwick (BA) and Cambridge (MPhil, PhD). I was a research fellow at Trinity and a lecturer at the University of East Anglia before arriving at Lucy.


Research Interests

I work primarily on romanticism and related writers (at the moment especially Godwin, Wordsworth, Shelley, Landon, De Quincey, Henry Kirke White); literary theory (psychoanalysis; queer theory; phenomenology; ethics) and the history of criticism.

I teach on material from across the long eighteenth century, as well as more broadly in the fields of poetry and poetics, and literary criticism and theory. I typically teach for the papers Practical Criticism and Critical Practice; English Literature and its Contexts 1660-1870; Love, Gender, Sexuality 1740-1824; Lyric; The Ethical Imagination; and History and Theory of Literary Criticism. 


Areas of Graduate Supervision

I'm interested in proposals for graduate work in the research areas outlined above.


Selected Publications


Wordsworth's Unremembered Pleasure (Oxford UP, 2020) investigates Wordsworth's sustained interest in unnoticed, retrospective and "unremembered" pleasure. It challenges a long tradition of reading Wordsworth as a poet of memory and of traumatic limit, and rethinks critical concepts in romanticism including repression, sublimation, mourning, and pleasure.

Reviews: Jacques Khalip, The Wordsworth Circle; Matt ffytche, Romantic Circles 

A second book (in preparation) will study the history, poetics, and politics of self-love, from the eighteenth century to the present.



Romantic Microethics’ PMLA 136.5 (2021), 746761.

The Poetics of DreamsCritical Quarterly 61.2 (2019), 77104.

A Genealogy of Narcissism: Shelley’s Self-LoveNineteenth Century Literature

Percy Shelley’s touch, or, lyric depersonalizationModern Philology 117.1 (2019), 91–114.

Shelley’s Vestimentary Poetics Philosophy and Literature 42.2 (2018), 292–310.

Faith in Reading: Revisiting the Midrash–Theory connectionParagraph 39.3 (2016), 335–357.

Rhythm as CopingNew Literary History 46.3 (2015), 549-568.

Wordsworth and the Infancy of AffectionStudies in Romanticism 54.1 (2015), 79–100.

Wordsworth and the poetics of disappointment’ Textual Practice 28.6 (2014), 1123–1144.


Book Reviews

Romantic Shades and Shadows by Susan J. WolfsonKeats-Shelley Journal 68 (2019) pp. 197–198.

For Romantic Circles Reviews and Receptions:

Daniela Garofalo and David Sigler, eds, Lacan and Romanticism

Brittany Pladek, The Poetics of Palliation

Seth T. Reno, Amorous Aesthetics (October 2020)

Markus Iseli, Thomas De Quincey and the Cognitive Unconscious (October 2016)

Wordsworth’s Poetic Theory: Knowledge, Language, Experience’ European journal of English studies 18.3 (2014), 339–341.

Other Writing
Henry Kirke White's Moongazing for Tim Fulford's project on Kirke White