Professor Ros Ballaster

I have published widely on the novel and women’s writing in the eighteenth century and am currently writing a book about the role of the theatre in the invention of the ‘novel’ over this period (due for publication Autumn 2020). The intention here is not simply to consider the use of novel plots as sources for plays but the presence of theatrical models of character, action and affect in the novel of the long eighteenth century, apprenticeships and continuing engagements with the theatre by more or less successful novelists. Most recently I have been Principal Investigator on a project 'Opening the Edgeworth Papers' working with the Bodleian Library to promote scholarly and public interest in the archive of papers they hold associated with Maria Edgeworth and her family I am interested in supervising doctoral students working in eighteenth-century women's writing, in the fiction of fantasy in the same period (it novels, oriental fiction, fairy tales), the early novel, theatre and performance of the Georgian and Regency periods.  

See also my website on Georgian Theatre and the Novel

Literature 1500-1800; the novel; Restoration and Georgian theatre; women’s writing; theories of character and cognition in literature; feminist theory and feminist writing.

Twitter: @BallasterRos

College Website


  • ‘ “Thoroughly to unfold the labyrinths of the human mind”: Distributed Cognition and Women (Novelist)’s Representation of Theatre in Eighteenth-Century England’

  • Dramatic satire

  • Sensible Readers: Experiments in Feeling in Early Prose Fiction by Women

  • Secret History, Oriental Tale, and Fairy Tale

  • Bring(ing) Forth Alive the Conceptions of the Brain’: From Stage to Page in the Transmission of French Fiction to the English Restoration Novel

  • Satire and Embodiment: Allegorical Romance on Stage and Page in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Britain

  • Rochester, Behn and Enlightenment Liberty

  • Rivals for the Repertory: Theatre and Novel in Georgian Literature

  • More