Lucy Sixsmith, Trinity

Degree: PhD
Course: 1830-PD
Supervisor: Dr Ruth Abbott
Dissertation Title: The Bible as a Material Text in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Biographical Information

I obtained my BA in English from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2010, and an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University in 2011. I then trained to teach English as a foreign language, and taught for four years in Moscow, Russia, and for one year in Reggio Calabria, Italy. I returned to Cambridge in 2017 for an MPhil in Modern and Contemporary Literature and stayed on for a PhD.

Research Interests

My PhD project is about the Bible and bibles in nineteenth-century Britain and beyond. I am thinking about: bible-readers in and out of fiction; annotations and signs of use; reading practices, literacy, education; bible publishing and distribution; cutting, dividing, binding and re-binding bibles; the relationship between what people believed about the Bible, and how they actually handle their bibles.

I am also interested in: verse technique and form; close reading; the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novel; comedy, wit, jokes; drafts and revisions; memory and mnemonic practices; how teaching works and how learning happens; grammar, phonology, language acquisition and learner English.

Areas of Supervision

I have taught Practical Criticism and Critical Practice, and supervised for the Lyric paper and dissertations on Christina Rossetti and Elizabeth Gaskell.

Selected Publications

‘“Injured Mutilated or Defaced”: How to Read a Bible in a Nineteenth-Century English Prison’, Book History, forthcoming [2021]

‘“I went and prayed to have my name put down in the Missionaries’ book”: Gift Exchange and Bible Transactions in Britain and Antigua, 1834-1884’, Textual Practice 2021 (

‘Christina Rossetti’s Apocalypse: Rhythm and Deferral in The Face of the Deep’, Cambridge Quarterly 49.4 (December 2020), 357–371 (