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Staff Profile

Professor. Moyra Haslett - Queen's University Belfast Research Portal - Research Directory & Institutional Repository for QUB
Moyra Haslett

Direct phone: +44 (0)28 9097 3962

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or call +44(0)2890 973091.


Academic Qualifications

BA (Hons); PhD - Trinity College, Dublin


Research Interests

Eighteenth-century culture, especially literary groups, women's writing, textual conversations and fictions of female community; Irish fiction, 1680-1820; Byron's Don Juan; marxist and feminist literary theories.

Current projects include research on eighteenth-century women writers and coterie culture, including representations and perceptions of the bluestockings, complaints about the exclusion of women from literary societies, and fictions of female community (including those by Margaret Cavendish, Mary Astell, Sarah Fielding, Thomas Amory, Sarah Scott, Mary Hamilton, Tennyson).


Biographical Information

Moyra Haslett joined the School of English at Queen's in 1999. Before that, she taught at Trinity College Dublin (1991-1995), at the University of Luton (1995-1999), and at St Patrick's College, Drumcondra (1999).


Principal publications

Byron's Don Juan and the Don Juan Legend (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997).

This book explores the theatrical history of popular Don Juan versions on the Regency stage as a way of reading Byron's poem contextually. It was awarded the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize (1998) by the British Academy (

Marxist literary and cultural theories (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000).

This book defends the continuing relevance of marxist theories in situating texts politically and historically. It includes extended readings of the poetry of the labouring-class poet Mary Leapor and the film versions of Jane Austen's novels.

Pope to Burney, 1714-1779: Scriblerians to Bluestockings (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2003).

This book defines literature of the eighteenth century as a literature written and received as public conversation. Chapters on Gulliver's Travels, Pamela and The Dunciad discuss the textual conversations which surrounded these books.

Thomas Amory, The Life of John Buncle, Esq (1756) - a scholarly edition (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2011)

Amory's eccentric fiction has long been of interest to scholars of the early novel and of the fiction of Laurence Sterne. This edition is the first modern scholarly edition, which includes significant textual variants, comprehensive annotations, a bibliography of sources used by Amory and a contextual introduction.


Current teaching

English in Transition (Stage 1) Eighteenth-century and Romantic Literature (Stage 2) Women's Writing, 1660-1820 (Stage 3) Literature of Modernity (MA) Theorising Modernity (MA) Public/ private women: representations of female community in the long eighteenth century (MA)


PhD supervision

Areas of interest: eighteenth-century and Romantic periods, particularly women's writing, Irish writing in English, literary conversations, clubs and coteries.



Research Statement

I am currently co-editor of the 'Early Irish Fiction, c.1680-1820' series, a collaborative research project between the Schools of English in Queens University Belfast and Trinity College Dublin.  (My fellow co-editors are Prof Ian Campbell Ross and Dr Aileen Douglas, both of the School of English, TCD.) The project has been supported by funding from the IRCHSS, the AHRC and the Long Room Hub (TCD). The project oversees the publication of scholarly editions of eighteenth-century Irish fiction. The first two titles were published in March 2011, with three further titles published in October 2011, and a further two titles published in 2013-14. It is anticipated that the series will publish a minimum of 10-12 titles.

In addition to being one of the general editors for all titles published in the series, I have edited Thomas Amory's The Life of John Buncle, Esq (1756), which was published in autumn 2011, by Four Courts Press, Dublin. I have also co-edited (with Ross and Douglas) a special issue of Irish University Review (2011) on 'Irish Fiction, 1660-1830' as part of the project.


I also have on-going research interests in women's writing in the 'long' eighteenth century, particularly in the representation of female communities. I have been working towards a monograph on this topic since the publication of my last book, Pope to Burney, Scriblerians to Bluestockings, a chapter of which focused upon 'Female Communities'. This book will consider the idea of female community from Mary Astell and Margaret Cavendish to Alfred Tennyson and is provisionally entitled Imagining Female Community: literary representations of female societies, 1660-1850. My most recent publications arise out of this particular research interest: book chapters on female friendship in women's writing of the early eighteenth century and the 'poet as clubman' in the eighteenth century; several journal articles on representations of the Bluestockings; and the edition of Thomas Amory's The Life of John Buncle, Esq, a fiction which is particularly notable for its depiction of a 'little female republic' of one hundred women living in the remote wilds of Westmoreland and of Harriot Harcourt's community of women which resides by turns in the outer Hebrides and in Northumbria. Amory's fiction thus neatly dovetails my research interests in eighteenth-century Irish fiction with those in fictions of female community.


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