Adam James Smith

Adam James  Smith

Lecturer in Literature & Liberal Arts at York St John University.
Former Teaching Associate and Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield.


Location York


  • Mary, this is remarkable, thank you for sharing this incredible story. I'm so pleased our course was able to play a part in this, thank you for your commitment and enthusiasm during what must have been a very difficult time. I look forward to seeing you again on future courses! x

  • I've actually been campaigning for Addison's return to print for a while. Recently I wrote this post a our where he went and why we need him back. It is called "Are Addison and Steele still Dead?"

  • Adam James Smith made a comment

    Dear all,

    I just wanted to write a brief note to convey my gratitude to all of you for your commitment and enthusiasm. Working on this course has been an absolute delight, and I speak on behalf of everyone on the teaching team when I say that it is humbling to see so many people engaging with our work and ideas.

    The discussions that I've witnessed over...

  • Fantastic -- thank you Judy!

  • It really is. Not satisfied with archiving all of literature they are now also archiving... The INTERNET!

  • That's great Gael!

    Don't forget, if it's 19th-Century novels your after and they aren't available on Project Guttenberg, there might be versions free to download from


  • Thank you for these kind words Stephen, and for your commitment, enthusiasm and excellent comments throughout the course.

    It is my life's goal to get Addison back into print. I'm actually just this week in discussions to get a monograph contracted about Addison's political prose. A new critical edition of his works would compliment that nicely. The real...

  • Dracula is an excellent suggestion! I haven't read it in a while, but isn't Jonathan Harker some kind of estate agent or property surveyor? I certainly remember being suprised last time I read it by how much time they spend discussing London House prices. I guess Stoker was quite the prophet when he imagined a world in which wealthy ancient vampires from...

  • I'll put it on my To-Watch list, if I can get a copy today i'll watch it tonight!

  • Great suggestions - Atonement in particular is a really good shout as it often gets forgotten, thanks Debra!

  • Hi Andy,

    You're in good company as a fan of The Little Stranger - if you go to 8min 20ish of this video from 2014 you'll see our former mentor, PhD student Carly Stevenson, recommending it as her favourite novel:

  • "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” I absolutely love Rebecca.

  • Hi Chester,

    Thank you for your kind comments -- and yes, I think we can definitely count Tess!

    We've rounded up some top suggestions for further reading on the blog:

    Amber and I also met to discuss learner's suggestions in a bonus video, during...

  • That's another great suggestion, thanks Lydia. Has anyone mentioned Mapp and Lucia yet, the series of novels by E. F. Benson?

  • Good sleuthing Lyn -- these definitions certainly correspond with my own reading on Bunburying! I've always enjoyed it as a device because it is a euphemism but we don't ever get a clear explanation what it is for, rendering it an empty signified that could plausibly be used in any context -- a great comic device!

  • Hi Joan,

    Thanks very much for this! I might be able to help on the reading list front -- Over on our blog we have collated a short-list of recommended further reading if you'd like to continue this journey through country house literature:

    Amber and I...

  • Hi all,

    We've collated some of the most often recommended examples of country house literature after 1900. You can read an overview of our findings here, many of which have been mentioned in your comments on this step:

    Amber and I also met to...

  • I've just discovered this wonderfully detailed blog, 'Comment-Ed', in which one of our learners has been keeping track of their experience of the course across a series of very engaging and entertaining post. I especially enjoyed the entry about Week 5's Gothic authors and characters:...

  • I really like that adaptation:
    You're right though, it is a very loose adaptation and it is definitely over-sentimental. I wonder if Stewart had a contract with Hallmark in the late '90s, I seem to recall he was also in a very sentimental Hallmark adaptation of Scrooge around the same time...

  • Intriguingly there was a film version of The Canterville Ghost in 1986, two years before Burton's Beetlejuice hit the screens in '88.

  • I hadn't considered this before but now that you've mentioned it, yes, Canterville Ghost bears a striking resemblance to Beetlejuice! I just did some quick sleuthing on Google and the IMBD entry for the film does seem to confirm that it was conceived as a 'very loose adaptation of Wilde's Canterville Ghost.'

  • Sara, The Buccaneers is an excellent example. In 2014 Carly Stevenson and I came up with a short list of texts we would recommend as further reading and The Buccaneers was one of my suggestions:
    It poses another great editorial dilemma, what do you do about that ending (or lack of, therefore)?

  • Hi Heather,
    It was Zafloya, a novel by Charlotte Dacre:


  • Hi Judy,
    That third novel was Zafloya by Charlotte Dacre:

  • Hi Vanessa,
    That final recommendation waa for Zafloya, a novel by Charlotte Dacre.

  • If you've enjoyed the ‘Material Conditions’ thread of the course you might also enjoy PhD student Rosie Shute’s fun appraisal of using experimental archaeology techniques to learn about book history over on the School of English blog:

  • Week 4 educator Dr Joe Bray also returned to share an academic article on the subject of Samuel Richardson’s stylistic influences on the prose of Jane Austen

    Finally Sheffield graduate, Jessica Yates, shared a post which discusses the...

  • Don't forget to check out our blog, we've had lots of related features on there this week!

    Amber has written a post for us which discusses the significance of *other* houses in ‘Great Expectations’ (

    School of English...

  • Hi Jill, Not to worry, you can re-live all the action with the recording on Youtube:

  • Thanks Christina!
    Angela's recommendation was The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole ( and mine was Zafloya by Charlotte Dacre ( Enjoy!

  • Hi all,

    I'm pleased you found a copy of the 1848 review. You can also view it here, on the British Library website:

  • Hi all,
    This is a fascinating thread. I just wanted to chip in to pick up on Martha's question about why you can't have a blend of the two positions, and say that you absolutely can, and many other variations in between. The school of criticism to which I most belong is called New Historicism, which respects the author but is not inhibited by him/her:...

  • That's a remarkable connection! I have seen this film, I agree, it fits very neatly into the same aesthetic.

    I remember reading a hoax news story the other day about students being outraged by the novel adaptation of the musical Oliver! not having any songs in it... Unfortunately I can't find it, but my search did throw up this other equally amusing story:...

  • The Woman in Black is a superb example. Again, the (recent-ish) film version is really interesting - for me it stops being scary as soon as we start to see her. When you're not sure what is happening I find the scares far more effective.

  • I absolutely agree here, I saw the David Lean version for the first time last year and it was wonderful. There's something really special about those early 20th-century adaptations that captures the imagination far more than any film produced in the last 30 years. Amber Regis spoke recently on a Q&A panel at a screening of the 1944 adaptation of Jane Eyre,...

  • Angela, I love this description of Catherine!

  • This is the question I always come back to in the classroom when teaching Northanger Abbey -- to what extent is Catherine the target, and to what extent is her story intended as a cautionary tale..?

  • Angela and Amber are both looking forward to the Hangout tonight! Don't forget, even if you can't tune in live you can still leave a question on this step we'll try an answer it tonight. The video will immediately appear on Youtube and Google Hangout, so you'll be able to check in later and see if your's got answered!

  • It is horrible, isn't it? Quite a contrast to Pope's Rape of the Lock or Heywood's Fantomina.

  • Fantastic, I love it!

  • Haha, thank you Staci-Jill. I'm intriged that you are evoking the author as the ultimate authority, as is fairly standard practice. That makes Great Expectations even more interesting - all of them come from Dickens in one way or another, so which would you choose?

  • Miss Havisham appeared in this Guardian feature earlier this week as an example of a fictional 19th-century Monomaniac (interpreted here as someone with an obsession). I'm slightly uncomfortable about anachronistic diagnosis of mental illness, particularly when applied to fictional characters, but this still makes for a fun little...