Molly Youngkin specializes in nineteenth-century British literature. She teaches courses in Romantic and Victorian literature, as well as gender studies, periodical studies, narrative theory, and animal studies.
Her first book, Feminist Realism at the Fin de Siècle: The Influence of the Late-Victorian Woman’s Press on the Development of the Novel (2007), examines the influence of feminist ideals in the debate over realism in the work of men and women authors writing in the 1890s. She also has edited Sarah Grand’s Ideala (1888), which was one of the earliest New Woman novels and laid the foundation for the independent woman of the 1890s.
Her latest book, British Women Writers and the Reception of Ancient Egypt, 1840-1910: Imperialist Representations of Egyptian Women (2016), focuses on British women writers’ knowledge of ancient Egyptian women and how this knowledge influenced their writings about their own emancipation. With chapters about Florence Nightingale, George Eliot, Michael Field, and Elinor Glyn, this book shows these writers possessed knowledge about ancient Egyptian women but often incorporated ancient Greek or Italian Renaissance women, since these women were less threatening to their British audience.