Dr Leon Litvack


My primary research area is the life and works of Charles Dickens. I am the Principal Editor of the Dickens Letters Project, and an expert analyst of Dickens's letters, manuscripts, and handwriting. I am highly adept at finding new Dickens letters that have never before come to the attention of scholars. I have written and lectured widely on Dickens, his works and his world. I have curated Dickens exhibitions at major institutions, and have made these the substance of my impact cases for presentation to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) evaluation.

Most of my research has used historicist and post-colonial modes of criticism. I am an expert investigator of archival sources, and I have developed new approaches to Dickens's life and work as a result of my findings. I have done significant work in bibliography, the interaction between literature and the visual arts, and in textual criticism. I am working on the authoritative critical edition of Dickens's last completed novel, Our Mutual Friend.

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Open to PhD applications in the field of 

  • Dickens studies
  • 19th-century British writers
  • 19th-century Irish literature and culture
  • 20th-century Irish literature
  • Modern post-colonial fiction & theory
  • 19th-century women's travel writing
  • The literature of landscape
  • Film and fiction
  • TV adaptations of 18th-century/Victorian fiction
  • 20th and 21st-century fiction and poetry
  • Textual criticism
  • Landscape literature
  • The literature of place
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  • Currently holds two Government appointments to Arms' Length Bodies in Northern Ireland:
    -Vice-Chairman, National Museums Northern Ireland
    -Board Member & Chair of Finance & Capital Committee, Arts Council of Northern Ireland
  • Brings skills in finance, audit & risk assurance, human resources, and governance to these organisations
  • Board Member of the Charles Dickens Museum in London and has expert knowledge of the institution's
    collection of 100,000 objects, and contributes in the areas of collections development, education,
    interpretation, and public engagement.
  • Previously held a Government appointment as a Board Member of the Northern Ireland Community Relations
    Council, and served as Chair of the organisation's Victims Committee, responsible for distributing £12 million
    of Government funding to Victims and Survivors Groups.
  • Recently completed a report for the Governments in Northern Ireland and India on Demonetisation and Emerging
    Challenges. The project was funded through a £25,000 grant from the Northern Ireland Dept for the Economy.


Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science

School Of Arts, English And Languages

The Clarendon Edition of Our Mutual Friend

Research students

PhD title: May Merry; a study of the influence of Kate O’Brien on a creative writing project

Name: Bernadette Kiernan


Research at Queen's

Postgraduate research

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