Demelza400I am a researcher, writer and editor. I live in the South East of the UK, close to all of the wonderful archives, museums and libraries of Reading, Oxford and London. I love to be immersed in my specialist subject of Victorian literature and culture but happily apply my skills to a wide range of subjects in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

My current and recently completed projects have covered arts audience development, the night-time economy in Reading, youth unemployment, employment service delivery models, and therapeutic horticulture. This diversity reflects my portfolio career. Over the years, I have put my research, writing and editing skills to work for libraries, publishers, banks, local councils, a theatre, a museum, a university, an NHS Trust, a CVS, and most recently, an economic development agency. Working in a variety of environments and adapting to different organisational cultures has made me into a creative problem-solver, able to use insights from different sectors to offer new perspectives.

Managing a portfolio of jobs sustained me through a PhD, completed in the English Department at the University of Exeter in 2013. Alongside my doctoral research, I led undergraduate seminars and workshops, gave lectures, designed widening participation masterclasses, organised conferences, curated an exhibition, and worked in the communications department of South Western Ambulance Service.

My PhD years were brilliant – challenging, stimulating and creative. They firmly established my interest in nineteenth-century history and they also shaped my work values: seeking out continuous opportunities to learn and connect with new people.