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Dr Jane Jordan

Dr Jane Jordan is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department and Course Director for the English MA programme (the MA in Issues in C20th Literature, and the Popular Literatures MA). Jane is a specialist in Victorian literature, in particular the Victorian Popular Novel, and has been given research leave (autumn 2007) to complete her biography of the Victorian Popular Novelist 'Ouida' (Louise de la Ramee, 1839-1908). Jane was co-organiser of the recent international conference in life writing at Kingston University, 'The Spirit of the Age: Debating the Past, Present and Future of Life Writing', 4-6 July 2007, and will run a one-day Ouida Centenary Conference in 2008. Jane was invited to give a public lecture on Ouida at the British Institute, Florence, on 7 June 2006, and a conference paper given in January 2007, 'Ouida: The Making of a Popular Novelist', will be published in the collection Print Culture & The Novel, 1850-1900, next year. Jane is the author of two biographies of neglected Victorian female figures, the social campaigner Josephine Butler who led the opposition to the Contagious Diseases Acts (repealed 1886) and campigned to raise the Age of Consent for girls to 16 (Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885); and Katharine ('Kitty') O'Shea, mistress of the Irish leader, Charles Stewart Parnell, and his secret intermediary with Gladstone and the British Government. Both biographies are issued as paperbacks in 2007. Her biography of Josephine Butler was critically acclaimed and led to Jane editing (with Dr Ingrid Sharp) the five-volume collection of Butler's letters, speeches, articles, pamphlets and books for Routledge in 2003 (Josephine Butler and the Prostitution Campaigns). Jane is regularly invited to give public lectures on Butler, and has appeared twice on Woman's Hour; in January 2001 Jane was contracted as researcher and script consultant to BBC2 for their programme 'The Victorians: Scandalous Women', and Jane was also interviewed on the programme. Jane teaches Biography at Kingston, to both English and Creative Writing students, and she supervises two PhD students who are working on biographies (one conventional, one fictional) of marginalised female figures.