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Personal profile


Patrick Spedding is a Lecturer in English Literature, 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 two volumes of scholarship and twenty-two volumes of eighteenth and nineteenth-century texts.

Patrick is the Honours coordinator for Literary Studies; he coordinates the Literary Studies stream of ATS4653 LLCL Honours Workshop; ATS3487 The Shadow of Reason: irrational literature in the eighteen century; ATS2914 The Dark Hero and Femme Fatale; and ATS2915 The Roots of Fantasy. He 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

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2007 2009

Research Output 1999 2019

Some Personal Reflections on The Origin and Value of the Archives of Sexuality and Gender Part III

Spedding, P., 2019, Farming Hills Michigan USA : Gale Cengage.

Research output: Other contributionOther

The Adventures of an Irish Smock: A lost it-narrative, found

Spedding, P. & Marlowe, T. S., 9 Jul 2018, In : Notes and Queries. 65, 3, p. 307-310 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

The callous appetites of debauched readers: Edmund Curll and The Potent Ally

Spedding, P., Jan 2018, In : Journal of the History of Sexuality. 27, 1, p. 1–31 31 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

The Private Case. Foxcroft Lecture on Bibliography and Book History for 2016

Spedding, P., 2018, Melbourne Vic Australia: Ancora Press. 56 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearch

A list of my books: a detailed analysis of a 1730s personal library

Spedding, P., 2017, In : Script & Print: Bulletin of the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand. 41, 2, p. 92-104 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


MLA Prize for a Distinguished Bibliography

Patrick Spedding (Recipient), 28 Dec 2006

Prize: National/international honour


Activities 2007 2019

  • 2 Editorial responsibility
  • 1 Public lecture/debate/seminar

Gale Cengage (Publisher)

Patrick Spedding (Guest editor)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial responsibility

Foxcroft Lecture: Patrick Spedding on banned books exposed

Patrick Spedding (Contributor)

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic lecture/debate/seminar

Script & Print: Bulletin of the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand (Journal)

Patrick Spedding (Editor in chief)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial responsibility