Louise McDonald


Louise McDonald gained her BA and MA qualifications from the University of Birmingham and her PGCE and PhD from Leicester University. After 11 years as a full-time lecturer in English at Birmingham Metropolitan College (formerly Sutton Coldfield College of Further Education) with one year as an exchange professor at Seneca College, Toronto, she obtained her current post in January 1996. Her research interests comprise twentieth century women’s literature, particularly works regarded as ‘middlebrow’ and Victorian literature-to-film and adaptations. Her PhD constituted the first major study of the works of twentieth century British novelist, playwright and screenwriter, Clemence Dane; this research formed the basis for a subsequent monograph.


Research Interests 

Louise McDonald’s principal research interests are in gender politics in female middlebrow writing 1900-1950 and in screen adaptations of Victorian novels. Her book on Clemence Dane and gender politics was published by Routledge in August 2020.

Current Teaching

She leads undergraduate modules on reading film, Victorian literature, Modern literature, and American cultural identity as played out in literature and cinema. She is also responsible for teaching MA modules in Victorian Gothic and Victorian urban spaces. She contributes to undergraduate teaching on identity politics and to the Foundation in Humanities programme. She supervises PHD and MRes dissertations in the field of Victorian literature and culture.

Administrative Responsibilities

Administrator: Middlebrow Network https://middlebrownetwork.com

Louise McDonald is leader of curriculum development in Film Studies, American Studies, Victorian literature and Modern literature. She is also responsible for the second year English work placement module.

Membership of Professional Organisations

  • Association of Adaptation Studies
  • Middlebrow Network

Other Activities

Publications, Conferences, and Other Research Activity
Chapters in Books

I am currently the guest editor for a special issue in open access journal Humanities entitled “”Adapting fiction into visual culture”  (in progress)

Clemence Dane: Forgotten Feminist Writer of the Inter-war Years. Routledge, 2020.

McDonald, L., 2023. 8 ‘Utopian spaces, public places Considering the perils and pleasures of crossing domestic thresholds in The Women’s Side and The More I See of Men’ in Baker, K and Walker, N (eds.) A Space of Their Own: Women, Writing and Place 1850-1950, p.17.

Volume editor The Literary Encyclopedia ”English writing and culture of the early twentieth century‘  https://www.litencyc.com/

Clemence Dane: A Bill of Divorcement The Literary Encyclopedia ”English writing and culture of the early twentieth century‘  https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=39194

McDonald, Louise. “The Women’s Side”. The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 April 2021 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=40500, accessed 19 April 2021

McDonald, L., 2020. Clemence Dane: Forgotten Feminist Writer of the Inter-War Years. Routledge.

‘Clemence Dane’s Fantastical Fiction and Feminist Consciousness’ in Ehland, Christoph and Wachter, Cornelia (2016) Middlebrow and Gender 1980-1945 (Brill Rodopi)

‘Softening Svengali: Film Transformations of Trilby and Cultural Change’ in Cooke, Simon and Goldman, Paul (eds.) (2016) George du Maurier: Illustrator, Author, Critic London: Ashgate

‘From Victorian to Postmodern Negation: Enlightenment Culture in Thackeray’s and Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon’ in Bloom, Abigail Burnham and Pollock, Mary Sanders (2012) Victorian Literature and Film Adaptation (Cambria Press)

‘Clemence Dane: Regiment of Women’ The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume English Writing and Culture of the early Twentieth Century, 1945-present. Vol. editors: Chris Baldick and Peter Childs

‘Clemence Dane’ The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume English Writing and Culture of the early Twentieth Century, 1945-present. Vol. editors: Chris Baldick and Peter Childs

Conference Papers

“Clemence Dane’s The Flower Girls” Conference: ‘From treading boards to the Book Society: Clemence Dane and her circle in 1920s-1950s. At the Institute of English Studies, University of London. Thursday 6th to Friday 7th October 2022

‘Utopian spaces, public places: crossing domestic thresholds and non-fictional feminist texts of the 1920s and 1930s’ Conference paper : ‘A Space of their own: Women, Writing and Place, 1850-1950’ at the University of Chester (University Centre Shrewsbury) 29th June 2019

‘Challenging Stereotypes of Interwar Women in Clemence Dane’s Fiction’  Conference paper  ‘British Women’s Writing from 1930 to 1970: Wife, Mother, Siren, Artist: Challenging the Patriarchal Stereotype’: University of Chichester June 2018.

‘Imperilled Identities, Submerged Sexualities: Edwardian Repressions In Clemence Dane’s Regiment Of Women, Legend and First The Blade’ International Conference for Victorian Women Writers Canterbury Christchurch University: July 10-11 2017

“Domestic Conservatism and new feminism in Clemence Dane”: The Dawn of Modernism and the Popular Imagination International Conference at the Institute of English Studies, University of London, 15-17 September 2011