Dr Sally Minogue was formerly Principal Lecturer in English Literature at Canterbury Christ Church University.
I have been writing Introductions for Wordsworth Editions since 1999, at which time I was teaching and doing research at Canterbury Christ Church University, as Principal Lecturer in English Literature. My first ‘editions’ were Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Villette. I’m proud to say that I have introduced all of her works for Wordsworth, fittingly since she is my favourite novelist, and Villette my favourite novel. Added to that, I hail from Yorkshire; Haworth was an early place of pilgrimage with my book-loving mother.
My website photograph shows me on the backs at Cambridge, on a visit with a friend to an exhibition of paintings and documents connected with Virginia Woolf – another of the novelists I love and have written about. I have found Woolf inspiring for her courage as well as for her extraordinary and innovative prose. Writing and reading have run through my life from my earliest days in a working-class household full of books, many of them necessarily borrowed. The mobile library was a godsend in our rural village – as was the world beyond which the books opened to me, teaching me the limitless span of the imagination.
I was lucky to read English at Oxford University; only later did I understand what a place of privilege and elitism I had occupied, and that gave me a lifelong commitment to equality in education. I taught for many years in Further Education (taking a very long time to complete my Ph. D. alongside!), and for the WEA, and founded an Access Course which obviated traditional examination routes into Higher Education. In latter years I taught in Higher Education where I also had time to research and publish. My books include The Nature of Criticism (with Colin Radford), Problems for Feminist Criticism, and (with Dr Andrew Palmer) The Remembered Dead: Poetry, Memory and The First World War. I am glad of my long association with the Wordsworth ethos of accessible but scholarly editions at a very reasonable price, and much enjoy writing blogs, where I feel I can speak most openly in my own voice.