Professor Sharon Ruston


Research Overview

My main research interests are in the relations between the literature, science and medicine of the Romantic period, 1780-1820. My first book, Shelley and Vitality (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), explored the medical and scientific contexts which inform Shelley's concept of vitality in his major poetry. Since then, I have been working on Mary Wollstonecraft's interest in natural history, William Godwin's interest in mesmerism, and Humphry Davy’s writings on the sublime; these form chapters in my most recent book, Creating Romanticism: Case Studies in the Literature, Science, and Medicine of the 1790s (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). I am currently co-editing the Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy and his Circle.

From the life of the Spinosist to life: Humphry Davy, chemist and poet
Ruston, S. 2014 In: Literature and chemistry. Aarhus : Aarhus University Press ISBN: 9788771241747.

Romantic transformation: literature and science
Ruston, S. 2014 In: British romanticism. Routledge p. 571-579. 9 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Creating romanticism: case studies in the literature, science and medicine of the 1790s
Ruston, S. 2013 Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan. 232 p. ISBN: 9781137264282.

'What was I?': Frankenstein, natural history, and the question of what it means to be human
Ruston, S. 2011 In: La Questione Romantica. 3, 1, p. 81-92. 12 p.
Journal article

Authority and imposture: William Godwin and the animal magnetists
Ruston, S. 2009 In: Liberating Medicine, 1720-1835. London : Pickering and Chatto p. 153-164. 12 p. ISBN: 1851966323.

Natural rights and natural history in Anna Barbauld and Mary Wollstonecraft
Ruston, S. 2008 In: Essays and Studies. 61, p. 1-13, 53-71. 32 p.
Journal article