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Jonathan Padley


Affiliated Lecturer


  • BA English Language and Literature (University of Oxford)

  • BA Theology and Religious Studies (University of Cambridge)

  • MA English (University of Wales)

  • PhD English (University of Wales)

  • PGCE Post-Compulsory Education and Training (University of Wales)

  • LMusTCL Musical Theory, Criticism, and Literature (Trinity College London)


  • Editorial Board member of Children’s Literature in Education

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Jonathan Padley is a specialist in English children’s literature from the eighteenth century to the present day. His work explores margins, particularly the marginalisation of authors, texts, and characters. His PhD argued that the child protagonists of children’s literature can be understood, etymologically and theoretically, as monsters.

As well as children’s literature, Jonathan is interested in interdisciplinary dialogues between literature, media, music, science, and theology. He has published broadly, including on transgressive creation in Shelley’s Frankenstein, bibliographical anomaly in Tennyson’s English Idyls, and Christological imaging in Tolkien’s Middle-earth mythos.

Jonathan has been an Affiliated Lecturer at the Faculty of Education since 2020, where he teaches and examines undergraduates and postgraduates in children’s literature. He is a Fellow, Tutor, and the Lead Admissions Tutor at Churchill College, and Director of Studies in Education at Lucy Cavendish, Newnham, and St Edmund’s Colleges. He is also an Honorary Member of the Faculty of English.

Alongside academic work, Jonathan is committed to widening participation in higher education. From 2013 to 2015, he was seconded to Welsh Government to co-lead the research and policy implementation which gave rise to Seren, to which he still regularly contributes.

Before taking up his current roles in Cambridge, Jonathan was variously an Honorary Research Associate of the Department of English Language and Literature at Swansea University, and a Lecturer and Tutor at Gorseinon College and Coleg Sir Gâr.

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Research Topics

  • Children's literature

  • English literature post-1750

  • Education

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Articles and Essays


Welsh Government Widening Participation Reports

Jonathan Padley

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