Eliza Haughton-Shaw, King's

Degree: PhD
Course: 18CR
Supervisor: Dr Fred Parker
Dissertation Title:

The Wound and the Show: Pain and Eccentricity in Writing by Sterne, Wordsworth, Lamb, and Dickens

Biographical Information

I read for my BA in English Language and Literature at St Anne’s College, Oxford, where I was awarded the Mrs Claude Beddington English Literature Prize and two Gibbs Prizes. In the following year, I took my MLitt in Victorian Literature at the University of Glasgow, before embarking on my doctoral studies at Cambridge University, funded by the AHRC. During 2019, I spent three months working within a SEND school in Cambridge, and am committed to continuing to work in the area of special education. 

Research Interests

My PhD explores representations of eccentrics and eccentricity between the mid-eighteenth and later nineteenth century; it draws on a range of theorists, from David Hume to the psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott, working on comparable problems around failed or functionally imperfect sympathy with others.

I write mainly on late eighteenth-century and nineteenth literature, both poetry and prose. My research interests include the comic; play and creativity; reverie, dreaming and unproductive states; nonsense; associationism; habit and social character; the history of emotion; British romantic poetry and prose; appetite and anorexia. I have a passionate interest in psychoanalysis (especially Freud, D.W. Winnicott, Marion Milner).


Areas of Supervision

At Cambridge, I teach the papers Practical Criticism and Critical Practise; English Literature and its Contexts 1660-1870; Love, Gender, Sexuality 1740-1824; The English Moralists

I have supervised Part 1 and 2 dissertations on nonsense poetry; satire and bodily fluids; Wordsworth’s curatorial impulses. I am always happy to hear from students working on my research interests: ehh24@cam.ac.uk.

Selected Publications

Journal articles:

‘"Antic Dispositions": Lear and Dickens’, Victorian Poetry, 58.2 (2020), 135-149.

‘Charles Lamb’s Imperfect Solitudes’, Romanticism (forthcoming, 2021).


'The Eccentricity of Lydia Davis's 'Essays'', The London Magazine (August 2020).

'Emma Donoghue on writing hunger', The London Magazine (February 2020).

'Defying Gravity', review of Not Working: Why We Have to Stop by Josh Cohen (Granta, 2019), The London Magazine (January 2020).


In 2019, I co-organised a two-day conference at King's College, Cambridge on the subject of Happiness: Enlightenment to Present.  In 2021, I co-organised a week-long virtual conference on 'Habit in the Long Eighteenth Century', a summary of which can be found here. With Hannah Tran, I am currently co-editing a symposium of essays on the 'Habit and Romanticism' for The Cambridge Quarterly.