Personal profile


Patrick Spedding is Literary Studies Coordinator, and Assoc. Director of the Centre for the Book, in the Faculty of Arts at Monash University.

Patrick's historical scholarship is informed by a strong interest in book history, especially the relationship between authors and readers with printers and publishers, forms of censorship and suppression, the availability of books in private and circulating libraries, annotation and the records of reading. 

His research initially focussed on Eliza Haywood and other eighteenth-century women writers, expanded into the area of eighteenth-century erotica, and has become increasingly focussed on eighteenth and nineteenth-century fantastic, gothic and supernatural fiction. This latter interest extends, in his teaching, from the roots of fantasy in the late medieval period, to modern forms of supernatural fiction, especially works featuring dark heroes, vampires or witches.

Patrick's doctoral project, A Bibliography of Eliza Haywood, was published in 2004, the year he completed his PhD at Monash University, and it won the MLA Prize for a Distinguished Bibliography in 2006. From 2007–9 Patrick was an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow conducting research on eighteenth-century erotica. Since 2010, Patrick's research in these areas has evolved into two book-length projects; one on Eliza Haywood's readers and one on the history of the condom before 1840. 

Although Patrick’s research is dominated by bibliographical issues raised by the publication of Haywood’s works in the eighteenth century, Haywood's readers and the history of the condom before 1840, his other research projects include a collection of essays on historical marginalia, a history of clandestine "Private Case" collections, a "Checklist of Eighteenth Century Erotica," a study of the treatment of obscenity in print, and an analysis of the representation of witches in the early-modern and modern periods.

In addition to his historical scholarship, Patrick has extensive editorial experience, having edited Script and Print for three years, and acted as either editor, co-editor or associate editor on three volumes of scholarship and twenty-two volumes of eighteenth and nineteenth-century texts.

Patrick is Literary Studies Coordinator; he also coordinates the Literary Studies stream of ATS4653 LLCL Honours Workshop; ATS3487 The Shadow of Reason: irrational literature in the eighteen century; ATS2914 Dark Heroes, Dark Realms: Supernatural fantasy before 1900He has also supervised dozens of honours, Masters and PhD projects (including many creative writing projects) on a wide range of topics, but most commonly in the areas of fantasy and YA fiction.

Patrick maintains a blog for Research Notes and Informal Writing here.

Patrick's Orcid ID is 0000-0002-8901-5887.

Research area keywords

  • Eliza Haywood
  • Book History
  • Digital Humanities
  • Eighteenth century literature
  • Gothic literature
  • Fantasy
  • young adult literature
  • Contraception
  • History of Medicine
  • Censorship

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or