Judith Hawley

Judith Hawley, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries


  • TW20 0EX

Personal profile

Personal profile

My first degree was from Christ's College, Cambridge and I completed my doctorate on Tristram Shandy at Lincoln College, Oxford. My research focusses on eighteenth-century literature and culture. I have published on a range of subjects from literature and science to Laurence Sterne and have developed an interest in gin. I am particularly interested in groups and coteries such as the Bluestockings and the Scriblerians. I am also researching the history of private theatricals in the long nineteenth century. I co-organised a conference on the subject called: 'What Signifies a Theatre?' at Chawton House. This led to the development of a research network which I co-direct with Mary Isbell: Researchers in Amateur Performance and Private Theatricals: RAPPT. With colleagues at Royal Holloway, I engaged in an Amateur Studies Research Forum. These projects aim to increase understanding and raise the profile of non-professional performance. I also work with historic properties to engage the public in conversations around heritage. I am a Trustee of the Pope's Grotto Preservation Trust, an organisation that is protecting the tangible but fragile legacy of this major poet. I am also a Trustee of the London Luminaries, an organisation that began as a way of connecting with audiences during the COVID-19 lockdown but has now grown into a wider network of historic properties in South West London. In recognition of my scholarship and my work to preserve cultural heritage, I was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of London.

I am a founder member of The Food Group at Royal Holloway. This interdisciplinary research group, formed in response to the climate emergency, applies critical interdisciplinary thinking to fundamental questions about how we produce, trade, share, consume and construct narratives around food and drink. 

I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for the eighteenth century and have appeared on radio programmes such as In Our Time, The Long View and Voices from the Old Bailey on BBC Radio 4.

Research interests

I have supervised doctoral students working on eighteenth-century Orientalism, adolescence, Samuel Richardson's Pamela, book history, masculinity and Restoration comedy, and the nature of authorship in the Romantic period. I have also supervised the critical component of Creative Writing PhDs. I welcome proposals from students wishing to undertake doctoral work on any aspect of the literature of the long eighteenth century.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Education/Academic qualification

English, DPhil, 'Tristram Shandy and its relation to encyclopedias', Oxford University

Award Date: 1 Jun 1990

External positions

Trustee, London Luminaries

1 Aug 2020 → …

Trustee, Pope's Grotto Preservation Trust

1 May 2016 → …


  • eighteenth-century
  • encyclopaedias
  • laurence sterne
  • Bluestockings
  • Scriblerians
  • Private Theatricals
  • Amateur Theatre
  • Alexander Pope
  • Jonathan Swift
  • the Enlightenment
  • literature and science
  • Elizabeth Carter
  • Heritage
  • Sustainability
  • Food and drink

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or