Dr Bonnie Latimer

Dr Bonnie Latimer

Associate Dean for Education and Student Experience

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business

Dr Bonnie Latimer can be contacted through arrangement with our Press Office, to speak to the media on these areas of expertise.
  • Literature
  • 18th century literature
  • Literature and gender


As Associate Dean for Education & Student Experience, I am responsible for leading learning and teaching across the four Schools of our large, diverse Faculty: the Plymouth Business School, the Institute of Education, the School of Art, Design & Architecture, and the School of Society & Culture. I am dedicated to ensuring that all our students have a transformational experience with us, characterised by hands-on learning and excellent employment prospects afterwards.

My specialist interests within learning and teaching centre on the real-world application of academic knowledge and skills gain. Since 2020, I have led on two key projects funded by the Office for Students, Engaging Students in Knowledge Exchange (2020-2022, £0.5m) and a Higher Education Short Course Trial project (2021-2023, £52,000). Plymouth is only one of two English universities to have been funded for both. Both of these projects are designed to meet policymaker demand for new ideas around crucial sector agendas: for example, HESC supports the development of new types of course teaching cutting-edge skills and allows students advance access to the government’s Lifelong Loan Entitlement to fund their studies. 

I am also Chair of the University's Welcome & Onboarding Working Group and an academic co-lead on the institution's pandemic response programme. I have previously acted as Head of English & Creative Writing. In 2021, my leadership was recently recognised with an inaugural Vice Chancellor’s Award.

By training, I am a literary historian. My current research focuses on apprentices and literature in the early modern period and long eighteenth century. My next book, The Imaginary Apprentice: Apprenticeship and Literature in England, 1600-1850 is supported by a 2022 Leverhulme Research Fellowship. It will fill a gap in our understanding of this period by providing the first-ever scholarly account of how apprentices feature in literature, touching on questions of how contemporaries thought about apprenticeship, and exploring changing ideas of citizenship and of how young boys entered the adult male worlds of work, trade, and political participation.

I am passionate about integrating research into the classroom. As the Chair and founder of the Historical Texts Learning & Teaching Editorial Board, I lead a UK-wide team of academics responsible for designing and strategizing the teaching content for this important new Jisc resource. We are always looking for new contributors, so please do feel free to get in touch!

I have also published on the eighteenth-century printer and novelist Samuel Richardson, as well as Alexander Pope, Mary Wollstonecraft, Sarah Scott, and popular eighteenth-century literature. I am active as a peer reviewer and I’m a co-editor on the Routledge series New Textual Studies. Have a look at the 'Research' and 'Publications' tabs for more details.


  • PhD, Leeds, January 2007
  • M St, Exeter College, Oxford, June 2001
  • MA Oxon, Exeter College, Oxford, June 2000

Professional membership

British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 2005-

Higher Education Academy, 2013-
Jisc Historical Texts National Advisory Board, 2012-

Roles on external bodies

Chair, Jisc Historical Texts Learning & Teaching Editorial Board, 2021-



Teaching interests

I teach primarily in the period c. 1660-1830, and teaching interests include early-modern gender, the emergent novel, gender and Romanticism, the gothic, and literary analysis of 'non-literary' early-modern texts, such as conduct literature, sermons, and so forth.

I am particularly interested in moving research into the classroom. This lies behind my chairing of the Jisc Historical Texts L&T Editorial Board, which seeks to provide resources enabling colleagues working in literary and historical subjects to use Historical Texts innovatively with students. In the past, I have also contributed to a number of student guides, including co-editing the major print/ digital Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of British Literature 1660-1789 (2015), which provides a comprehensive resource introducing students and others to cutting-edge scholarship in the field.

I am especially keen to teach and supervise on authors on whom I've published, including Restoration dramatists and poets, Scriblerians such as Gay, Pope, and Swift, early popular novelists such as Behn and Haywood, mid-century novelists and cultural critics such as Richardson, Jane Collier, Charlotte Lennox, and others, as well as a wide gamut of later-century 'Romantic-era' women writers, including Wollstonecraft, Edgeworth, Charlotte Dacre, Hannah More, and Elizabeth Inchbald.



Research interests

Apprenticeship is a hot topic in educational policy today, but it was also an essential, formative experience in the early modern period: up to 40% of male Londoners had been apprentices, and they appear as characters in romances, plays, ballads, newspapers, memoirs, novels, and criminal biographies. There is no study of this vast range of textual material. My latest project, 'The Imaginary Apprentice: Apprenticeship and Literature in England, 1600-1850', is supported by a 2022 Leverhulme Research Fellowship. It shows for the first time how literary representations of the apprentice across the period reveal shifting ideas of what it meant to be a citizen and changing imaginations of how boys could seize political agency in a world shaped by adult men.

Previously, my research interests focused on the work of the mid-eighteenth-century sentimental novelist and printer, Samuel Richardson (1689-1761). I am currently seeing through press a new state-of-the-field collection on the continued relevance of his work, co-edited with Rebecca Anne Barr at Cambridge. Generally, I am interested in eighteenth-century popular texts and in overlooked and forgotten histories, which form a key theme of the Routledge series I co-edit, New Textual Studies.




Selected previous publications

(2019, paperback edition 2021) ‘Burlesque and travesty: Pope’s early satires’, in Bullard, P. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Eighteenth-Century Satire (Oxford University Press), 281-297

(2019, paperback edition 2021) ‘Reading for the sentiment: Richardson’s novels’, in Rivero, A. (ed.), The Sentimental Novel in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge University Press), 51-68

(2017) ‘Educational writing’, in Sabor, P. and Schellenberg, B. (eds), Samuel Richardson in Context (Cambridge University Press), 170-177

(2017) ‘Popular fiction after Richardson’, in Hammerschmidt, S. and Curran, L. (eds), special issue of Eighteenth-Century Fiction 29: 2, 241-259

(2015) ‘Samuel Richardson and the “Jew Bill” of 1753: A new political context for Sir Charles Grandison’, Review of English Studies 275: 66, 520-539

(2015) Brooks, H.E.M., Day, G., Latimer, B., Lynch, J., Morrissey, L., Rounce, A., Schürer, N., Smallwood, P., Vilmar, C., eds (2015) The Encyclopedia of British Literature, 1660-1789, 3 vols and online (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell).

(2014) ‘Samuel Richardson and Philip Carteret Webb’s “little paper” on the Jewish Naturalization Act’, Notes & Queries, 259:3, 404-6.

(2013) Making Gender, Culture, and the Self in the Fiction of Samuel Richardson: The Novel Individual (Burlington, VT: Ashgate).

(2012) ‘Courting Dominion: Sir Charles Grandison, Sir George Ellison, and the organising principle of masculinity’, The Eighteenth-Century Novel 9, 109-131.

(2009) ‘Leaving little to the imagination: The mechanics of didacticism in two children’s adaptations of Samuel Richardson’s novels’, in Gay White, P. and Wadewitz, A. (eds) special issue of The Lion and the Unicorn: A Critical Journal of Children’s Literature 33: 2, 167-88.

(2009) ‘Apprehensions of controul: The familial politics of marriage, choice, and consent in Sir Charles Grandison’, Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 31: 1, 1-19.

(2006) ‘Alchemies of satire: A history of the sylphs in The Rape of the Lock’, The Review of English Studies, 57: 232, 684-700.


I am currently working on a book entitled ‘The Imaginary Apprentice: Apprenticeship and Literature in England, 1600-1850’, supported by a 2022 Leverhulme Research Fellowship. I am also co-editor on the Routledge series New Textual Studies.

Together with Rebecca Anne Barr (Cambridge), I am currently co-editing a collection of essays on new directions in Samuel Richardson studies, which we expect to be out this year (2023). Watch this space!

Conference Papers

Recent conference contributions and addresses

‘Old dogs/new audiences: Extending the value of digitised collections’, Digifest 2023 (March 2023, Birmingham)

‘Citizens of the future: Apprentice-guides, young men, and ideal citizenship, 1660-1750’, British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies annual meeting (January 2023, St Hugh’s, Oxford)

‘Supporting continuation for students with mental health conditions’, invited speaker at Education for Mental Health Forum (September 2022, King’s College London)

‘Report on Jisc Historical Texts Working Group: A chance to test the new beta resource’, (July 2022, English: Shared Futures meeting, Manchester)