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David Skilton  MA (Cantab) MLitt (Cantab) FRSA FEA

Professor David Skilton MA (Cantab) MLitt (Cantab) FRSA FEA

Emeritus Professor

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

John Percival Building, Room Room 2.64, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU


I have several complementary strands to my current research:

  • illustration, and in particular meaning production by words and images working together in the privileged environment of an illustrated work of literature
  • the development of digital tools for the processing of bimedial texts
  • anticipated ruins: vision of London in ruins in the future.

My principal research interests have been Victorian, and I am best known for work on fiction, especially Anthony Trollope, for whose collected novels, published by the Trollope Society in forty-eight volumes, I was general editor.

In recent years I have worked on the art and literature of London, with particular emphasis on modes of urban vision and the multiplicity of urban narratives. I am preparing a book on visions of London in ruins. The other main strand of my research is in illustration and illustrated texts, and I am one of the founding editors of the Journal of Illustration Studies, which is a peer-reviewed, electronic journal devoted to the systematic study of literary illustration as a discipline in its own right, having its own subject-matter and its own critical and scholarly methods. I was co-investigator in the AHRC-funded project, A Database of Mid-Victorian Wood-Engraved Illustration (DMVI), and held an AHRC grant for a series of illustration workshops run in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum under the title "Literary Illustration: Conservation, Access, Use" (LICAU).

I am currently collaborating on the development of digital tools and digital research platforms capable of processing text and image together.


Research interests

  • illustration studies
  • Victorian literature
  • nineteenth-century illustrated texts
  • Anthony Trollope
  • Gustave Doré
  • the art and literature of London
  • digital humanities
  • the Capture, curation and processing of bimedial texts