Emma has supervised PhD theses on The British Aesthetic Movement; Virginia Woolf and drama; decadence and fantasy; music and Renaissance writing; Elizabeth Bowen, Virginia Woolf.



Virginia Woolf and Classical Music: Politics, Aesthetics, Form (Edinburgh, 2013) More information...

Co-editor, with Michael Downes, Opera and the Novel (Special Issue: Forum for Modern Language Studies, April 2012)

Aubrey Beardsley and British Wagnerism in the 1890s (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002) More information...


‘Aestheticism, Resistance and the Realist Novel: Marius and Masculinity’, in The Victorian Novel and Masculinity, ed. Phillip Mallett (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), 172-88.

‘Flying Dutchmen, Wandering Jews: Romantic Opera, Anti-Semitism and Jewish Mourning in Mrs Dalloway’, in Adriana Varga, ed., Virginia Woolf & Music (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2014), 160-79.

‘The Visual Arts’, ‘Aubrey Beardsley’, ‘Arthur Rackham’, ‘Fantin-Latour’, ‘Mariano Fortuny’, ‘Renoir’ and ‘Virginia Woolf’ for The Cambridge Wagner Encyclopedia, ed. Nicholas Vaszonyi (Cambridge: CUP, 2013). 

‘Fiction as musical critique: Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out and the Case of Wagner’, in Phyllis Weliver and Katharine Ellis, eds, Words and Notes in the Long Nineteenth Century (Boydell & Brewer, 2013) More information...

‘Music’, in Bryony Randall and Jane Goldman, eds, Virginia Woolf in Context (Cambridge, 2012) More information...

Entries on ‘The Visual Arts’, and on Aubrey Beardsley, Arthur Rackham, Fantin-Latour, Mariano Fortuny, Renoir and Virginia Woolf for The Cambridge Wagner Encyclopedia. More information...

‘Shell shock and hysterical fugue, or why Mrs Dalloway likes Bach’, First World War Studies 2: 1, Special number: Literature and Music of the First World War, eds. Trudi Tate and Kate Kennedy (2011), pp.17-26.

“‘English Enthusiasts”: Vernon Lee and Italian Opera’, in Exiles, Émigrés and Intermediaries: Anglo-Italian Cultural Transactions, ed. Barbara Schaff (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2010). pp.375-402.

‘Karlowicz and fin-de-siècle Wagnerism’, in European fin de siècle and Polish Modernism: The Music of Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, ed. Luca Sala. Ad Parnassum Studies 4 (Bologna: Ut Orpheus Edizioni, 2010), 119-46.

“‘Putting words on the backs of rhythm”: Woolf, ‘Street Music’, and The Voyage Out’, Paragraph 33: 2, Special number: Rhythm in Literature after the Crisis in Verse, eds. Peter Dayan and David Evans (July 2010)., 176-96.

'Too close for comfort: Henry James, Richard Wagner and The Sacred Fount', Nineteenth-Century Music Review, 6.2 (2009), 3-17.

Commissioned review essay on Jonathan Allison, ed., Bound for the 1890s: Essays on Writing and Publishing in Honor of James G. Nelson (High Wycombe: Rivendale Press, 2006), Nineteenth-Century Literature 62.2 (September 2007), 294-47.

“‘Within a space of tears”: Music, writing, and the modern in Virginia Woolf’s The Voyage Out’, in Music and Literary Modernism: Critical Essays and Comparative Studies, ed. Robert P. McParland (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006), 50-65.

"'The Music Spoke For Us": Music and Sexuality in Fin-de-siècle Poetry', in The Figure of Music in Nineteenth-Century British Poetry, ed. Phyllis Weliver (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005), pp. 213-29

'Foreign Bodies: Mark Twain, Music and Anglo-American Identity', Symbiosis,8.1 (2004), pp. 109-19

 Virginia Woolf and Classical Music
 Aubrey Beardsley and British Wagnerism in the 1890s

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Dr Emma Sutton

Education and Experience

Emma Sutton was educated in Hong Kong and London. She studied English at the Universities of Exeter and Leeds, and then at Cambridge where she received a British Academy Scholarship to undertake her PhD on literature, opera and visual art in the 1890s. Emma taught at Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities before coming to St Andrews in 2003; she teaches a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, specialising in nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction.

Research Interests

Emma’s principal research interest is the relationship between literature and music in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, particularly the contentious relationship between music and politics. Her work has explored music’s role in representations of sexuality, gender, national identity, social class and anti-Semitism in the work of the British decadent artist Aubrey Beardsley (Aubrey Beardsley and British Wagnerism in the 1890s [Oxford UP, 2002]).

More recently, she has pursued these interests in the writing of Virginia Woolf, completing a monograph on the subject (Virginia Woolf and Classical Music: Politics, Aesthetics, Form [Edinburgh UP, 2013]), co-editing Woolf’s first novel for The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Virginia Woolf and starting research on Leonard Woolf. In 2015 Emma founded, with the pianist Lana Bode, a concert series exploring the role of music in Woolf’s life, work and afterlives (see http://virginiawoolfmusic.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk). At present Emma is working on a study of Euro-Pacific musical encounters in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, exploring the exporting of European music to the Pacific via writers (such as Robert Louis Stevenson), explorers, traders, missionaries and colonial administrators. Emma broadcasts on literature and music for venues including the BBC Proms, Moscow TV and Radio National, Australia.

Emma has also worked on Vernon Lee, on Anglo-Italian relations in the nineteenth century, on Wagner and visual art, and on Aestheticism and would welcome applications from graduate students in any of these areas.

Dr Emma Sutton

Contact information

Room: KH 303
Phone: 2676

Consultation hours:
Fridays 12-2

Research Profile on PURE