Megan Beech, Newnham

Degree: PhD
Course: 1830-PD
Supervisor: Dr Ruth Abbott
Dissertation Title:

Dickens and The Making of the Performance Fictions


Biographical Information

I read English for my BA at King's College London (2015). I followed this with an MPhil in Modern and Contemporary Literature at the University of Cambridge (2016)  with an MPhil thesis entitled 'The Dickensian Surplus: Dickens, Harriet Martineau and the ethics of Political Economy'.  I am currently undertaking an AHRC-funded PhD focusing on the compositional practices at work in the making of Charles Dickens's performance readings at Newnham College, Cambridge. Through archival work with the manuscripts of these readings I seek to interrogate the new textual practices Dickens undertook in editing his works for public performance.

Research Interests

Much of my work has focussed on Charles Dickens and questions of form. Within my PhD research I am particularly interested in the process of adaptation,the interrelations between writing and voice, bodily experiences of performance and how these relate to Dickens’s practice within his readings.

My broader research interests include the long nineteenth century and the note-taking practices of authors in this period, particularly Dickens and George Eliot. Other topics of interest include the political economic writing of Harriet Martineau and gender in nineteenth-century fiction and sociological literature. I have recently had a chapter published on Virginia Woolf’s work as a typesetter at the Hogarth Press, exploring a broader interest I have in textual studies and the relationship that authors have to textual editing.

Areas of Supervision

I have taught nineteenth-century literature for the Sutton Trust Programs at both KCL and Cambridge and am seeking to supervise on any authors or topics which fall within the remit of my research interests, particularly for the following papers:

Part 1, Paper 7A English Literature and its Contexts, 1830-1945
Part 1, Paper 7B English Literature and its Contexts, 1870 to the present

Part 2, Paper 9 Lyric
Part 2, Paper 10 Special Period of English Literature, 1847-1872