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Dr Joseph Morrissey

I am Reasearch associate at the University of Warwick where I was awarded my PhD 2013. My research centres on the Romantic-novel, and investigates the links between the formal properties of the novel and the individual, social formations, and the functions of emotions.

PhD: Gentry Women and Work and Leisure 1770-1820

My thesis examined women novelists in the Romantic period to understand women’s domestic work and leisure activities as an extension of thought and feeling processes. The ability of novels to narrate thoughts and feelings in tandem with detailed descriptions of domestic activity reveals the essential continuity between daily tasks and thoughts and emotions. Through this focus, my PhD bridges the gap between Romantic-period scholarship focused on the societal functions of domestic work and leisure with scholarship that seeks to understand how women thought and felt.


I have published a book chapter entitled ‘Sensibility and Good Health in Charlotte Smith’s Ethelinde’, in Picturing Women’s Health 1780-1914 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2014). This chapter challenges assumptions about the devlopment of the novel by showing that Smith is reliant upon seemingly simplistic novelistic techniques in order to pursue an ideological agenda.

Second Monograph

My second monograph will examine empathy in the Romantic-period novel from the perspective of current research in the social and medical sciences. It will square existing scholarship on the development of the novel and current reserach on empathy to show how the the novel shaped and was shaped by an emerging sense of empathy built upon individuality.


Joseph Morrissey