Dr John Morton BA, MA, PhD, PGCertHE

Associate Professor of English Literature

Dr John Morton joined the University of Greenwich in January 2009, having previously taught at University College London and Royal Holloway, University of London. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2012 and to Associate Professor in 2019.

Dr Morton's main research interest is Alfred Tennyson; his monograph Tennyson Among the Novelists, published in 2010, received enthusiastic reviews in Victorian StudiesVictorian Poetry, and the Tennyson Research Bulletin.

He is currently working on a book entitled 1850: A Literary Biography. This single-year study focuses on the year Tennyson inherited the Laureateship from Wordsworth, and the publication year of their respective In Memoriam and The Prelude; it was also the year in which Dickens published David Copperfield and founded Household Words. These are just a few of the significant literary works and events of that year. His book will consider the interrelations between these works and events, also focusing on popular literature, and will provide a comprehensive literary portrait of a year whose significance in literature is equal to that of 1848 in politics.

Dr Morton is interested in the legacies of the Victorian age as they are manifested in the present day, and to this end has published several articles on Neo-Victorian poetry and fiction, focusing on the work of Mick Imlah, Ciaran Carson, Anthony Thwaite, Ruth Padel, and Alan Hollinghurst. In addition to this, he has co-edited two prizewinning books, the Routledge Handbook to Nineteenth-Century British Periodicals and Newspapers (2016), and Researching the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press: Case Studies (2017) with Andrew King and Alexis Easley. The second of these includes an essay by Dr Morton on Alfred Austin's journalistic career, and he has also recently published an article on the literary and cultural endurance of Tennyson's 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. He is also Deputy Editor of the Tennyson Research Bulletin.

Responsibilities within the university

Senior Lecturer, English Literature

Employability Lead, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate teaching:

  • Literature and Publishing since 1820, Course Leader, Level 6 core course: lectures on Victorian, Modernist and contemporary literature and publishing
  • Literature in Context: Poetry and Drama since 1800, level 5 core course: lectures on Victorian and modernist poetry
  • Literature in Context: Fiction Since 1800, level 5 core course: lectures on Victorian, Modernist and contemporary fiction, and literary theory
  • The Canon: A Short History of Western Literature, Course Leader, level 4 core course: lectures on the canon, Chaucer, Milton, Jane Eyre, Victorian and Modernist poetry
  • Dr Morton also provides guest lectures for several courses on the English programme, including Literary Forms of Representation (level 4), and English in World Literature (level 6). In the past he has convened a level 6 optional course on the British novel in history, 1850-present, and he has taught on an interdisciplinary level 4 course, 'Ideas in Practice'.

Postgraduate teaching

  • MA Literary London
  • Unreal City: seminars on fictions of decadence in London
  • Imagining the Metropolis: seminars on Gissing, Conrad, and T. S .Eliot
  • Text and (Inter)Textuality: seminars on contemporary publishing and literary journalism

PhD supervision

Dr John Morton is currently supervising two PhDs:

  • The responses to Victorian literature by mid-century British female novelists
  • Modernism and education.


  • Deputy Editor, Tennyson Research Bulletin (2011-)
  • Member of Tennyson Society Publications Board
  • Awarded Colby Prize for best book on nineteenth-century periodicals in 2017 (for The Routledge Handbook to Nineteenth-Century British Periodicals and Newspapers) and in 2018 (for Researching the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press: Case Studies).
  • Judge for the Colby Prize in 2019 and member of the organising committee for the 2021 Research Society for Victorian Periodicals conference.
  • Dr John Morton reads for Literature and History and 19
  • FHEA

Research / Scholarly interests

So far Dr Morton's research has been a reappraisal of the 20th century's understanding of the Victorian age, focusing on Alfred Tennyson as a key representative of his age. His new project on 1850 reassesses a pivotal year in literary history.

His recent publications also highlight a key late 20th century poetical voice, Mick Imlah, who until now has received little academic attention.

As such he is part of a wider movement in neo-Victorian studies as well as Victorian studies; his research manifests the rigour typical of Victorian poetry scholarship as well as an accessible writing style.

Recent publications


Morton, John and , (2022), Wordsworth's death and the figure of the poet in 1850. Edinburgh University Press. In: , , , . Edinburgh University Press, Victoriographies, 12 (1) . pp. 98-114 ISSN: 2044-2416 (Print), 2044-2424 (Online) (doi: https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/vic.2022.0449).

Morton, John and , (2018), The endurance of ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’. The Tennyson Society. In: , , , . The Tennyson Society, Tennyson Research Bulletin, 11 (2) (doi: ) NB Item availability restricted.

Morton, John and , (2017), LEONEE ORMOND (ed.). The Reception of Alfred Tennyson in Europe. Oxford University Press. In: , , , . Oxford University Press, Review of English Studies, 68 (287) . pp. 1020-1022 ISSN: 0034-6551 (Print), 1471-6968 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/res/hgx056).

Morton, John and , (2016), Science in neo-Victorian poetry. Edinburgh University Press. In: , , , . Edinburgh University Press, Victoriographies, 6 (2) . pp. 131-146 ISSN: 2044-2416 (Print), 2044-2424 (Online) (doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/vic.2016.0228).

Book section

Morton, John and , (2024), Neo-Victorian poetry. Palgrave Macmillan. In: , , In: Brenda Brenda Ayres, Sarah E. Maier (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Neo-Victorianism. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland (1st) . pp. 273-293 . ISBN: 9783031321597; 9783031321603; 3031321596 (doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-32160-3_15) NB Item availability restricted.

Morton, John and , (2017), Researching a single journalist: Alfred Austin. Routledge. In: , , In: Alexis Easley, Andrew King, John Morton (eds.), Researching the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press: Case Studies. Routledge, (1st) . pp. 14-29 . ISBN: 9781409468851 (doi: ).

Morton, John and , (2016), 'Alan Hollinghurst'. Gale Cengage. In: , , In: Tom Ue (ed.), Dictionary of Literary Biography : 21st Century British Writers. Gale Cengage, , 377 . pp. 85-94 . ISBN: 9780787696528 (doi: ) NB Item availability restricted.

Edited book

King, Andrew , Easley, Alexis, Morton, John (2017), Researching the nineteenth-century periodical press: Case studies. Routledge. In: , , , . Routledge, . ISBN: 9781409468851 (doi: ) NB Item availability restricted.

King, Andrew , Easley, Alexis, Morton, John (2016), The Routledge Handbook to Nineteenth-Century British Periodicals and Newspapers. Routledge. In: , , , . Routledge, . ISBN: 9781409468882 (doi: https://www.routledge.com/products/9781409468882) NB Item availability restricted.