Elaine Jackson

Elaine pic

My teaching at the University of Birmingham and UCE (now Birmingham City University) ranged from Victorian to contemporary literature including gender and critical practice. From 2007-2010 I taught a two-hour weekly course for the University of Warwick’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, on ‘Books & Readers’, which combined the study of the history of the book with a close reading of novels in their historical context.  I also teach literature and book history at Erdington Library as a founder member of Erdington Lunar Society/Friends of Erdington Library.  If anyone is interested in attending a class in the Erdington area, then please contact me using the information below.

I have a BA (Hons) in English and a PhD from the University of Birmingham. My thesis was on women writers of popular romance between the wars, which analysed the writing and publishing experiences of specific authors. I am particularly interested in book history and bibliography and have contributed to the Virginia Woolf Bulletin, the Encyclopaedia of British Women’s Writing 1900-1950 (Palgrave, 2005) and Book Trade Connections from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Centuries, edited by John Hinks and Catherine Armstrong (British Library, 2008). I have also written book reviews for the Journal of the Printing Historical Society.

Summer 2019

Daring to be Different:  The Paperback Revolution and 19th Century Women  Authors



This term we will be exploring the history of paperback publishing, in particular Penguin Publishing which arguably was revolutionary in the distribution of texts to the wider population.  We will go on to study two novels by 19th Century women writers:  Ann Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) and, in the bicentenary year of  George Eliot’s birth, The Mill on the Floss (1860).  Both novels are still published by Penguin Classics and are revolutionary in their own right in highlighting a woman’s place in 19th Century society.

Please join us for a close reading and lively discussion.

This is an established and friendly tutor-led discussion group where students are encouraged to come along and share their own ideas and understanding of the texts.

Recommended Texts:

Anne Bronte, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (1996)  ISBN: 978-0140434743

George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss (1860) Penguin Classics; Rev Ed edition (2003)  ISBN 9780141439624

Day & Time:

Fridays – 10.00 – 12.00

Start Date:

Friday, 26th April, 2019


The Women’s Institute, 745 Warwick Road, Solihull, B91 3DG


£80.00 for ten weeks (please note that there will be no break for half-term)

Course Structure:

Weeks 1-2       Presentation and Discussion on the history of                                                   paperback publishing and its influence on readers,                                         dissemination of texts and culture.

Weeks 3-6       The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Weeks 7-10     The Mill on the Floss



Coffee and biscuits are offered at a cost of 50p per students. This is collected weekly.

If you have any queries about the above course you may contact me by typing your message in the box below and clicking ‘submit’:

Please enter your contact details and a short message below and I will try to answer your query as soon as possible.


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