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Dr Elizabeth Ludlow

Associate Professor
Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Humanities and Social Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Research Supervision:
Courses taught:

Dr Elizabeth Ludlow is Associate Professor of Literature and Religion at ARU, Cambridge. She joined ARU in 2014, having taught previously at the Universities of Warwick, British Columbia, Bristol, and Birmingham.

Email: [email protected]


Elizabeth's research specialisms include religion and literature and nineteenth-century poetry, fiction, and life-writing. Her first monograph, Christina Rossetti and the Bible: Waiting with the Saints (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014), contextualises Rossetti’s work in the light of her engagement with ancient, medieval, Early Modern, and nineteenth-century literature and provides the first sustained discussion of her contributions to periodicals and devotional anthologies. Her edited collection, The Figure of Christ in the Long Nineteenth Century (Palgrave, 2020), includes sixteen essays that respond to the theological turn in postmodern thought by asking vital questions about the way in which representations of Christ shape understandings of personhood and of the divine. In addition to these books, Elizabeth has written chapters and articles on subjects including the legacy of St. Monica of Hippo, the nineteenth-century Early Church novel, Elizabeth Gaskell and religion, and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s historical fiction. Her current project focuses on representations of the profound theological depths of embodied experience in nineteenth-century women’s writing.

As the Director of the Nineteenth-Century Studies Research Unit at ARU, Elizabeth has organised four international conferences, several symposia, and a number events focused on the figure of John Ruskin. She convenes a lecture series each year, the details which can be found on the unit's blog.

Elizabeth has seen two PhD students through to completion. She is currently the first supervisor of five students and second supervisor to two more. She is particularly interested in supervising PhD research in literature and religion and nineteenth-century literature.

Research interests
  • Nineteenth-century literature and religion
  • Victorian periodical publication and illustration practices
  • The Pre-Raphaelites
  • Victorian historical fiction and the Early Church novel


  • Victorian Literature and Culture
  • Elizabeth Gaskell and the Brontës
  • Romantic Conflicts
  • Literature of the Fens
  • Reading Beyond Britain
  • A History of English Literature from the Present to 1789


  • Revolution and Reform in the Long Nineteenth Century
  • Research Methods
  • Major Project
  • PhD English Literature, University of Warwick
  • MA Victorian Literature and Culture, University of Reading
  • BA English Literature and Language, University of Reading
Selected recent publications

Ludlow, E. (ed)., 2020. The Figure of Christ in the Long Nineteenth Century. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ludlow, E. 2020. Reimaging Personhood Before the Figure of Christ in the Victorian Early Christian Novel. In: E Ludlow, ed. The Figure of Christ in the Long Nineteenth Century. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 163-176.

Ludlow, E., 2020. The Representation and Reappraisal of St. Monica of Hippo in Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing. Christianity and Literature, 69(4), pp.528-548.

Ludlow, E., 2020. Working-Class Methodism and Eschatological Anxiety in Elizabeth Gaskell's Fiction. The Gaskell Journal 34, pp.25-40.

Ludlow, E., 2020. "There is great need for forgiveness in this world": The Call for Reconciliation in Elizabeth Gaskell's Sylvia's Lovers and A Dark Night's Work. In: A.E. Gavin and C.W.L. Oulton, eds. Reassessing Women's Writing of the 1860s and 1870s, Volume 2 of From Brontë to Bloomsbury Series. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 75-88.

Ludlow, E., 2018. Christina Rossetti: Her Identity in the Communion of Saints. In: J. Houston and J. Zimmermann, eds. Sources of the Christian Self: A Cultural History of Christian Identity. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Co., pp. 543-553.

Ludlow, E., 2017. Christina Rossetti, the Pre-Raphaelites, and the Tractarians. In: J. Baker, P. Nockles and J. Pereiro, eds. The Oxford Handbook of the Oxford Movement. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 427-440.

Ludlow, E., 2016. Elizabeth Gaskell's early contributions to Household Words: The parabolic and the transformation of communities through "kinder understanding". Victorian Review 41(2), pp.107-125.

Ludlow, E., and Styler, R., 2015. Elizabeth Gaskell and the Short Story and New Attributions to All the Year Round. The Gaskell Journal 29, pp. 1-24.

Ludlow, E., 2014. Christina Rossetti and the Bible: Waiting with the Saints. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Ludlow, E. 2014. Christina Rossetti's Later Life: A Double Sonnet of Sonnets (1881): Exploring the Fearfulness of Forgiveness. Literature Compass 11(2), pp. 84-93.

Ludlow, E., 2013. Christina Rossetti, Amy Levy, and the composition of roundels in late Victorian Bloomsbury: Poetic snapshots of city pageants. English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920, 56(1), pp. 83-103.

Recent presentations and conferences

2019: 'The Resurrection of the Body and the Renewal of Creation in Victorian Women's Poetry,' Ecology and Religion in Nineteenth-Century Studies (flightless, multi-site, interdisciplinary conference), University of Lancaster.

2019: ''Enclosed by the Divine Presence': Prayer and the Female Body in George Eliot’s Fiction and Poetry,' George Eliot 2019: An International Bicentenary Conference, University of Leicester.

2019: 'Prayer, Praxis and Christology in Josephine Butler's Catherine of Siena: A Biography (1878).' Research Seminar, Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts, University of St. Andrews.

2019: 'Working-Class Methodism and Eschatological Anxiety in Elizabeth Gaskell's Fiction', The Gaskell Society Annual Conference, Barnsley, UK.

2019: 'Christina Rossetti and the Oxford Movement.' The Oxford Movement and the Tracts for the Times. Oriel College Oxford.

2018: 'Prayer, truth-telling and the outworking of Unitarian faith in Elizabeth Gaskell's fiction,' Conference of the International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture, Uppsala, Sweden.

2018: 'The Presence of St. Monica of Hippo in Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing.' Seminar Series, Department of English and Creative Writing, University of Lancaster.

2018: 'Transfiguration in the Poetry of Dora Greenwell'. Women's Writing in the Nineteenth Century. Seminar Series, Canterbury Christ Church University.

2017: 'Spaces of the Sacred in George Eliot's Romola and Harriet Beecher Stowe's Agnes of Sorrento,' NAVSA/AVSA supernumerary conference, Florence.