Fran Tomlin

'I Believe in Love': A. L. Kennedy & The Quest for Happy Ever After

  • PhD English Literature
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures

Contact details


Originally from Yorkshire, Fran completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature at York St John University in 2006, going on to complete her Masters at the same insititution the following year.  Since moving to Edinburgh Fran has been studying for her PhD part-time and is aiming to submit at the end of the summer 2016. Her PhD focuses on A. L. Kennedy and explores the use of love and romance within her fiction.  Alongside this, and a general interest in contemporary British fiction, Fran's other areas of interest include feminist theory and the Gothic, and she has previously written dissertations on the work of Angela Carter and Iain Banks.  She has published articles online and presented papers at numerous conferences throughout her PhD studies, as well as participating in part-time undergraduate teaching and serving on the fiction review panel for the James Tait Black award for the University of Edinburgh.  She is hoping to move into an academic and writing career upon completion of her thesis.


PhD in Literature; University of Edinburgh; 2016-17 [ongoing]

Master of Arts with Merit; York St John University; 2007

BA (Hons) Class I; York St John University; 2006

Undergraduate teaching

Part-time Undergraduate teaching in the Autumn term of 2012 and 2013.  This involved leading two tutorial groups in each case, raising questions for discussion, encouraging students to develop individual responses to each text, marking essays and providing feedback, and liaising with students outside of tutorial times (usually via email) where necessary.

Research summary

Contemporary British fiction; women's writing and Feminist theory; Romance; the Gothic; fantasy literature; Shakespeare 

Current research interests

A. L. Kennedy and the use of love and romance within her fiction, examining definitions of love and romance in a contemporary context.

Past research interests

Gothic elements in the fiction of Iain Banks; fairy tales and feminism in the work of Angela Carter.

Article: 'Susan Hill & Old-School Scaring', For Books' Sake website, October 2014 [online]

Book Review: Shannon Hale's 'Austenland', PG CWWN website, November 2013 [online]

Book Review: Saverio Tomauiolo's 'In Lady Audley's Shadow: Mary Elizabeth Braddon & Victorian Literary Genres', University of Stirling Gothic Imagination website, May 2011, [online]

Presented papers:

'"True Romantic Art": Love & the Quest in the novels of A. L. Kennedy'.  Sheffield Hallam University, PG CWWN 'Representations of Romantic Relationships & the Romance Genre in Contemporary Women's Writing' conference, June 2016

'"This isn't a Book": Disguise & Deception in A. L. Kennedy's 'The Blue Book''.  De Montfort University, PG CWWN 'Illusions in Contemporary Women's Writing: Secrets, Lies & Deceptions' conference, April 2015

'Feminine Inhibition: A. L. Kennedy & the limitations of Feminist Theory'.  Queen's University Belfast, PG CWWN 'The F-word in Contemporary Women's Writing' conference, April 2013

'"Where the Bones of the Earth show through": Fiction & Scotland's Gothic Wilderness'.  St Mary's University College Twickenham (at Strawberry Hill), 'Gothic: Culture, Subculture, counterculture' conference, March 2013

'Seductive She-monsters: Carter, De Sade & Alice Thompson's 'Justine''.  University of Leicester, PG CWWN 'Mythical, Magical & Monstrous Women' conference, June 2012

'Love as Handcuffs: Domination, Pain & Oppression in the works of A. L. Kennedy'.  University of Surrey, 'Gender Theories & The Shadow of the Other' conference, June 2011