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Aileen Christianson has worked as a researcher and editor on the Duke-Edinburgh edition of The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle since 1967 after an MA (hons.) in English and History at the University of Aberdeen. After 25 years of research with some teaching in the department, she became a lecturer in the department, October 1993, and a senior lecturer, October 1995. Her teaching areas have been mainly in nineteenth and twentieth century Scottish women’s writing, in particular Muriel Spark, Liz Lochhead, Nan Shepherd, Willa Muir and Susan Ferrier, as well as other English and Scottish women writers in her honours course, Victorian Women Writing, and a wide range of twentieth Scottish women’s fiction from the 1920s to the 1990s. She is now an honorary fellow in the School.
Her main research commitment has been to the editing of The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle (vols. 1-41, Duke University Press, 1970-2013; continuing), of which she is now a senior editor. She was a co-applicant on the AHRB award to the Carlyle Letters, 2003-6, and was a co-investigator of the AHRC award to the Carlyle Letters for 2006-9. Her work on this major scholarly edition led to an interest in ideas of life-writing, particularly in the letters of Jane Welsh Carlyle, and she has published many critical essays in this area; she received a Leverhulme Research Fellowship, 2006-7, when she wrote Jane Welsh Carlyle, Biography and Biographies (Edinburgh, 2008). Her interest in letters and journals’ relationship to published writings, as well as critical analyses of a neglected Scottish modernist writer, has been explored in her monograph, Moving in Circles: Willa Muir’s Writings. She has also worked in the area of gender and nation mainly in relation to twentieth century Scottish women writers
This article was published on Nov 26, 2012