Mark Frost
  • Burnaby Road, Milldam

    PO1 3AS Portsmouth

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Any aspect of literature and environment in the Victorian period.

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


I work on environment and literature in the long-nineteenth century, with particular interest in pastoral, ecocrisis, pollution, and social and environmental justice in the Victorian period (and what it tells us about the present). I focus on the cultural functions of pastoral in early-Victorian literature, and recent iterations of this has been a 2023 article on pastoral, industry, and environmental violence for English Studies; and a chapter on Wilkie Collins and environment for a 2023 Cambridge University Press collection.. My work on late-Victorian environmental disaster narratives, particularly the work of Richard Jefferies, has led to a scholarly edition of his 1885 novel, After London; and a chapter on the wider corpus of this genre.  My original research heartland (John Ruskin) also remains important to me. 

I would consider postgraduate enquiries relating to any of these areas, and would welcome opportunities for media interviews and other opportunities to speak about my work.


I am currently working on four projects:

1. a monograph on pastoral in early Victorian fiction that is rooted in recent ecocritical interest in the urban and rural; environmental sovereignty and hierarchies; slow violence and environmental justice criticism; boundaries/intersectionality; and deconstruction. 

2. I am creating and editing an extensive four-volume collection of primary sources on environments and ecology in the long nineteenth century for Routledge. This will draw upon famous and obscure works from various sources, including published books, newspapers, and periodicals. The first volume appeared in 2022 and Volume 2 is due in 2023.

3. I have submitted an article on environmental violence and boundaries in 1920s fiction (Yevgeny Zamyatin and J.J. Connington) to a MESEA publication.

4. I am the creator and director of the Portsmouth Literary Map (, a Faculty-funded KEF project, working alongside my colleague, Dr Maggie Bowers.

My earlier research on John Ruskin and 19th century science, politics, and culture yielded a monograph, The Lost Companions and John Ruskin's Guild of St George: a Revisionary History and articles for Victorian Literature and Culture, Nineteenth Century Prose, Journal of Commonwealth Literature. Green Letters, and  a special issue of Critical Survey (co-edited with Paraic Finnerty). 

Research Interests

I am interested in literature and environment in the Victorian period, and my work is rooted in a range of recent and emerging ecocritical contexts. I focus on:

  • Pastoral modes in early-Victorian fiction (Dickens, Eliot, Trollope, Thackeray, Martineau, Oliphant, Surtees, Ainsworth, penny dreadfuls, silver fork novels, chartist literature).
  • Issues of environmental justice, slow violence, pollution, and environmental injustice.
  • Social impacts of rapid industrial, demographic, economic, and technological change in the Victorian period.
  • Late-Victorian environmental disaster narratives (Richard Jefferies, William Delisle Hay, Grant Allen, Robert Barr, M. P. Shiel).
  • John Ruskin.

Teaching Responsibilities

I co-ordinate the second year UG module, Dystopian and Apocalyptic Environments: Ecocrisis in the Literary Imagination', which takes my ecocritical interests into contemporary literature; and the first-year module, The Short Story: Murder, Madness and Experimentation and Popular Culture. I regularly supervise MRes students, and teach extensively on our innovative, interdisciplinary distance-learning MA in Victorian Gothic. This course has created a pathway for PhDs, and I am currently on the supervisory panel for five doctoral students.

Media Availability

I am available for media interviews and other opportunities to speak about my work.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Director, Guild of St George (registered charity)

1 Jul 20211 Jul 2024

External Examiner, University of Northampton

29 Mar 202130 Sept 2024

Co-editor, Eighth Lamp: the Journal of Ruskin Studies

Oct 2015Oct 2018


  • PR English literature
  • Pastoral, ecocriticism, ecology, ecocrisis, environment and literature, anthropocene, John Ruskin, Richard Jefferies, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, W M Thackeray, Anthony Trollope, Margaret Oliphant, Harriet Martineau, penny dreadfuls


Dive into the research topics where Mark Frost is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles