Dr Bethany Layne

Job: Senior Lecturer in English Literature

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Humanities

Research group(s): Centre for Adaptation Studies

Address: De Montfort University (DMU), Leicester, UK

T: 0116 250 6559

E: bethany.layne@dmu.ac.uk



Personal profile

I joined De Montfort University as a Senior Lecturer in English Literature in September 2017. My primary research interest is Henry James’s legacy in contemporary fiction, including biographical novels and appropriative literature. I am also interested in the writing and legacies of Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath. My monograph, Henry James in Contemporary Fiction: The Real Thing is under contract with Palgrave Macmillan and projected for publication in 2019. My interviews with David Lodge, Colm Toibin, and Susan Sellers are published in Conversations with Biographical Novelists: Truthful Fictions Around the Globe (Bloomsbury, 2018), and I am the editor of a collection of essays with Cambridge Scholars, currently entitled Biofiction in Context

I welcome PhD applications from students interested in James, Woolf, Plath, biofiction, adaptation and appropriation.

Research group affiliations

I am a member of the Centre for Adaptations

Publications and outputs 

Research interests/expertise

Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, biofiction, adaptation, appropriation

Areas of teaching

14th to 18th Century literature, introductory poetry and adaptation, contemporary biographical literature, postgraduate research methods and conference organisation strategies 


  • BA (Hons) English Studies (University of Nottingham, 2008)
  • MA Twentieth Century Literature (University of Leeds, 2009)
  • PhD Modern to Contemporary Literature (‘(Post) Modernist Biofictions: The Literary Afterlives of Henry James, Virginia Woolf, and Sylvia Plath’) (University of Leeds, 2013)

Courses taught

  • Exploration and Innovation: 14th Century to 18th Century Literature
  • Poetry and Society
  • Introduction to English and Adaptation
  • English Research Methods (MA)
  • Conference Organisation (MA)
  • Biofiction: Writers’ Afterlives (2019-20)

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Member of the Association for Adaptation Studies 

Conference attendance

"Adoring Isabel: Extending The Portrait of a Lady in John Banville’s Mrs Osmond" at The Association of Adaptation Studies 13th Annual Conference, The University of Amsterdam, 2018.

‘‘Bibliofaction’’ as Adaptation and Return’ at The Association of Adaptation Studies 12th Annual Conference, De Montfort University, Leicester, 2017

 Postmodernist Biofiction (Co-organiser with Dr Madeleine Davies), University of Reading, 2017

 ‘Better Never than Late: The Absence and Origins of the Major Phase in David Lodge’s Author, Author and Colm Tóibín’s The Master’ at Late and Later James, Lamb House, Rye, 2016.

'“Great Poets Do Not Die”: Maggie Gee’s Virginia Woolf in Manhattan (2015) as Metaphor for Contemporary Biofiction’, at Virginia Woolf and Heritage, the 26th Annual Conference on    Virginia Woolf, Leeds Trinity University, 2016

‘“The price of adaptation may be very high”: Jamesian Transmission in Michiel Heyns’s Invisible Furies (2012)’ at Reading Henry James in the Twenty-First Century: Heritage and Transmission, The American University of Paris, 2016

Consultancy work

Area of Expertise: Henry James, Biographical and Appropriative Literature; currently available

Professional esteem indicators

I have acted as a reader for the journals ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes and Reviews, English Studies in Africa, and a/b: Auto/Biography Studies.

Bethany Layne

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