Dr Sibylle Erle

Sibylle Erle is Reader in English Literature in the Department of Arts & Humanties at Bishop Grosseteste University. She holds degrees from Philipps-Universität Marburg (1998), the University of East Anglia (1996) and Nottingham Trent University (2004).

She was awarded a PhD scholarship (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes), an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship (2003), as well as a Visiting Junior Research Fellowship at the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations at Queen Mary, University of London (2005-2015) and was Research Associate in the Department of Literature of The Open University (2006-09). She was invited to join the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (2012), held a Fellowship for Research Leadership Academy (German Scholars Organisation, 2019-2020) and was awarded a Higher Education Fellowship (2020).

She is a Trustee and Executive Committee Member of The Blake Society, St. James, London and editor of VALA: The Journal of The Blake Society, launched in November 2020. During the COVID-19 crisis Sibylle was shortlisted for an Innovative Teaching Award at the Student Lead Teaching Awards at BGU.

Related Courses

Sibylle convenes “Children’s Literature: Words, Pictures, Voices” (MA Children’s Literature and Literacies) as well as “Literature & Childhood: Grimm Neverlands” (Level 5), “Romantic Horizons” (Level 6) and “Literature & Adolescence: ‘Why Grow Up?’” (Level 6). She welcomes undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations on topics related to death, monsters and images/illustrations, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Literature and Culture as well as all aspects of Literature written for Children and Young Adults.

Blake, Reception, Anglo-German relations, Eighteen and Nineteenth Century Literature and (Visual) Culture, Panoramas, physiognomy, problems of representation, poetry, death and monsters as well as the Gothic.

English Research Seminars (2006-2014)

RKEU Literature and Literacy (2017- )

Death Conference & Academic and Creative Responses to Death and Dying (2016-2021)

Monster Project (2017-2020)

Perceptions of Death, funded by AlumNode (2021-2022)

Advisory Board of Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly (2017- )

Advisory Board of Centre for Reception Studies at the University of Craiova (2017- )

Editorial Board of The Reception of British and Irish Authors in Europe (2012- )

Editorial Board of Humanities & Social Sciences Communications (2020- )

“Global Blake”, University of Lincoln (2022)

“Blake in Europe”, Tate Britain (2019)

“The Monster Conference”, BGU (2018)

“Books-Place-Space: Tennyson in the 1860s”, Lincolnshire Archives and BGU (2017)

“The Reception of William Blake in Europe”, Tate Britain (2014)

“Tennyson, Blake and the Book of Job” (2012),


“Blake and Physiognomy”, Tate Britain (8 November 2010 – 3 April 2011)

“Blake’s Large Colour Prints”, Tate Britain, London (2002)


Sibylle Erle, Tennyson and Blake: Benjamin Jowett’s copy of Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job on the Isle of Wight, Tennyson Research Bulletin, Special Paper, Monograph Series, No 16 (Lincoln: The Tennyson Society, 2016); ISBN 978-0-901958-64-8. Pp. 23.

Sibylle Erle, Blake, Lavater and Physiognomy (London: Legenda, 2010). Pp. 232.

Co-edited Books / Special Issues

Sibylle Erle and Helen Hendry (eds). Monsters: Interdisciplinary Explorations in Monstrosity, Special Collection, Monsters: Interdisciplinary Explorations in Monstrosity, Humanities & Social Sciences Communications, 2019-2020. https://www.nature.com/collections/ffgefcehaf

Sibylle Erle and Morton D (eds), Paley. The Reception of William Blake in Europe, 2 vols. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019. (Pp. 768). https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-reception-of-william-blake-in-europe-9781472507457/

Anne Anderson, Sibylle Erle, Laurie Garrison, Verity Hunt, Phoebe Putnam and Peter West (eds), Panoramas, 1787-1900: Texts and Contexts, 5 vols. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2012. (Pp. 2,000)

Sibylle Erle and Laurie Garrison (eds). “Science, Technology and the Senses”. Special Issue for Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net (November 2008), https://www.erudit.org/fr/revues/ravon/2008-n52-ravon2573/

Book Chapters

Sibylle Erle and Keri Davies. “Early Reception“. In Haggarty, Sarah (ed.). Blake in Context, ‘Literature in Context‘ series. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019, pp. 79-86.

Sibylle Erle and Morton D. Paley. “Introduction: ‘Take Thou These Leaves from the Tree of Life’: William Blake in Europe”. In Erle, Sibylle, Paley, Morton D. (eds). The Reception of William Blake in Europe, 2 vols. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019, 1: 1-24 and 311-15.

Sibylle Erle. “The Reception of Blake’s Art in Germany and in Austria: After 1900”. In Erle, Sibylle, Paley, Morton D. (eds). The Reception of William Blake in Europe, 2 vols. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019, 1: 261-97 and 366-81.

Sibylle Erle. “‘O warum wurde ich mit einem anderen Gesicht geboren’. Meidner und Blake” “‘O why was I born with a different face’: Meidner and Blake”. In Riedel, Erik and Mirjam Wenzel (eds), Expressionismus, Ekstase, Exil: Ludwig Meidner / Exile, Ecstacy, Expressionism: Ludwig Meidner. Berlin: Reimer and Gebr. Mann, 2018, pp. 233-56. (www.reimer-mann-verlag.de/pdfs/reimer-mann-herbst2018.pdf).

Sibylle Erle, “From Vampire to Apollo: William Blake’s Ghosts of the Flea c. 1819-1820“. In Bruder, Helen, P., Connolly, Tristanne (eds.). Beastly Blake, Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, pp. 225-52.

Sibylle Erle. “On the very Verge of legitimate Invention’: Charles Bonnet and William Blake’s illustrations to Robert Blair’s The Grave (1808)”. In Davison, Carol Margret (ed.). The Gothic and Death. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017, pp. 34-47.

Sibylle Erle. “Introducing the Songs with Inspiration: William Blake, Lavater and the Legacy of Felix Hess”. In Oergel, Maike (ed.). (Re)Writing the Radical: Enlightenment, Revolution and Cultural Transfer in 1790s Germany, Britain and France. Berlin and New York: De Gruyter, Spektrum Literaturwissenschaft/spectrum literature, 2012, pp. 250-69.

Sibylle Erle. “The Lost Original: Blake and Lavater’s search for Divine Likeness”. In Nicholls, Angus, Goerner, Ruediger (eds.). In the Embrace of the Swan: Anglo-German Mythologies in Literature, the Visual Arts and Cultural Theory. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2010, pp. 211-30.

Sibylle Erle, “Shadows in the cave: Refocusing Vision in Blake’s Creation Myth”. In Haggarty, Sarah, Mee, Jon (eds). Blake and Conflict. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, pp. 144-63.

Sibylle Erle. “Johann Caspar Lavaters Physiognomische Fragmente”. Kindlers Literature Lexikon. 3rd edn. Stuttgart/Weimar: Verlag J.B. Metzler, 2009, 9: 690, 690-91.

Sibylle Erle. “William Blake's Lavaterian Women: Eleanor, Rowena, and Ahania”. In Bruder, Helen, P. (ed.). Women Read William Blake "Opposition is true Friendship". Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007, pp. 44-52.

Sibylle Erle. “Representing Race: The Meaning of Colour and Line in William Blake’s 1790s Bodies”. In Clark, Steve, Suzuki, Masashi (eds.). The Reception of Blake in the Orient. London and New York: Continuum, 2006, pp. 87-103.

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles:

Sibylle Erle. “‘How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe …?’: Frankenstein, Walton and the Monster”. Disbelief and Romanticism, ed. Andrea Tímár, Special Edition of AnaChronisT, New Series (2018), 144-67, https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/8918a7_cc961e605f7e4b44a09af67781b1e6ac.pdf

Sibylle Erle. “Blake, Ludwig Meidner and Expressionism”. Special edition of VISUAL CULTURE IN BRITAIN, William Blake: The Man from the Future? (2018). Ed. Colin Trodd and Jason Whittaker, 19.3, https://doi.org/10.1080/14714787.2018.1534606.

Sibylle Erle. “Understanding the Field of Waterloo: Viewing Waterloo and the Narrative Strategies of the Panorama Programmes”. The Reception of Waterloo in the Nineteenth Century. Ed. Elke Brems, Jan Ceuppens, Francis Mus, Tom Toremans, Special Edition of Interférences Littéraires (May 2017), 20: 45-59, (www.interferenceslitteraires.be/index.php/illi/article/view/7)

Sibylle Erle. “Lord Tennyson’s Copy of Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job (1826)“. Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly, 49.2 (Fall 2015), https://blakequarterly.org/index.php/blake

Claudia Capancioni and Sibylle Erle. “‘Have you no compassion?’: Danny Boyle’s and Nick Dear’s Re-examination of Monstrosity in Frankenstein“. Special Issue “Gothic Frontiers”. Ed. Francesca Saggini and Glennis Byron, Textus 3 (2012): 133-45.

Sibylle Erle. “Blake, Colour and the Truchsessian Gallery: Modelling the Mind and Liberating the Observer”. Special issue “Science, Technology and the Senses”, Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net. Ed. Sibylle Erle and Laurie Garrison (November 2008), https://www.erudit.org/fr/revues/ravon/2008-n52-ravon2573/

Sibylle Erle. “Leaving their mark: Lavater, Fuseli and Blake and their imprint on Aphorisms on Man. Comparative Critical Studies. 3.3 (2006): 347-69.

Sibylle Erle, “Face to Face with Johann Caspar Lavater,” viewpoint article for Blackwell Literature Compass, peer reviewed survey articles from across the discipline, 2:1 (January 2005)

Reviews (since 2015, selection)

Tracey Emin and William Blake in Focus. Exhibition at Tate Liverpool (16 September 2016–3 September 2017), Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly, 52.3 (Winter 2018-19), https://blakequarterly.org/index.php/blake

Roger Lüdeke, Zur Zeichenkunst von William Blake: Ästhetische Souveränität und politische Imagination (Fink, 2013), Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly, 50.4 (Spring 2017), https://blakequarterly.org/index.php/blake

G.E. Bentley Jr., William Blake in the Desolate Market (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014), Letters in Canada, University of Toronto Quarterly, 85.3 (Summer 2016), 404-06.

Colin Trodd, Visions of Blake: William Blake in the Art World 1830-1930 (Liverpool University Press, 2012), Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly, 49:3 (Winter 2015-16), https://blakequarterly.org/index.php/blake

Review of exhibition: “New Is There to Learn from Old Familiars? Burning Bright: William Blake and the Art of the Book. John Rylands Library, University of Manchester, 8 February–23 June 2013”, Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly, 48:3 (Winter 2014-15); https://blakequarterly.org/index.php/blake

11 October 2019 Blake and Meidner, John Rylands Libray (Visionary Culture in Britain Special Issue)

20 September 2019 Blake in Europe: A Symposium Tate Britain, Millbank, London, organised by Sibylle Erle, to coincide with the next major Blake exhibition at Tate Britain

6 September 2019, public guest lecture: “Anti-Clerical Views and Theological Thought: William Blake’s Visionary Christianity”, Lincoln Theological Network Lecture Series 2019.

19 September 2019 Launch at the Institute of Modern Language Research, Senate House, London

10 May 2019, public lecture on William Blake in Nuremberg, Deutsch-Britische Nürnberg e.V., 10 May 2019.

25 October 2018: invited guest-lecture: “Tennyson, Blake and Swedenborg”, Swedenborg Society, London – public lecture, accompanying exhibition on Swedenborg and the Romantics at Society’s House in London.

23 October 2018, paper: “It’s alive”: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in 1818”, Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, University Library Lincoln.

18-21 September 2018 Lecture tour; public lectures on William Blake in Düsseldorf, Essen, Münster and Schwerin, organised by Deutsch-Englische Gesellschaft Ruhr e.V. Essen.

14 May 2018, public guest lecture: “The Reception of William Blake in Germany and Austria”, New Mondays Art Group, Lincoln (The Usher Gallery/The Collection).

8-9 February 2018, invited paper: “Ludwig Meidner’s Visions and Visionary Portraits”, Visionary Artists workshop/network, John Rylands Library Manchester. https://vavoresearch.wordpress.com

2 December 2017, invited paper: “Alfred, Lord Tennyson: From Laureate to Instruction”, Institutions as Actors, third workshop of the AHRC-funded ‘Institutions of Literature, 1700-1900’ research network, Jenny Buckley, Jon Mee and Matthew Sangster, (institutionsofliterature.net)

10 July 2017, guest-lecture: “Joanna Baillie and the Theatre of the Passions“, University of Marburg, Germany