Janet Todd

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Janet Todd
President of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge[1]
In office
October 2008 – October 2015
Preceded byDame Veronica Sutherland
Succeeded byJackie Ashley
Personal details
Janet Margaret Todd

(1942-09-10) 10 September 1942 (age 80)
ChildrenJulian Todd
Clara Todd
Alma materNewnham College, Cambridge;
University of Florida
OccupationScholar of women in literature

Janet Margaret Todd OBE (born 10 September 1942) is a British academic and author. She was educated at Cambridge University and the University of Florida, where she undertook a doctorate on the poet John Clare.[2] Much of her work concerns Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen, and their circles.


Academic career[edit]

She has worked in universities in Ghana (Cape Coast), Puerto Rico (Mayaguez), North America (New Brunswick), India (New Delhi), England (Norwich).

She was appointed professor of English Literature at Glasgow University in 2000, and was then at Aberdeen University from 2004 until she took up in 2008 the post of president of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge,[3] from which she retired in 2015. She is now a full-time novelist and researcher living in Cambridge. She is a Honorary Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge.


Todd's writing concerns literature and culture of the Restoration and eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Over a long career she has published more than 40 critical and biographical books and collections of essays, mainly on women authors, women's writing, cultural history and the development of fiction. She has edited full-scale editions of Mary Wollstonecraft (with Marilyn Butler) and Aphra Behn, as well as individual works of women such as Charlotte Smith, Helen Maria Williams, Mary Shelley, Mary Carleton and Eliza Fenwick.[citation needed]

She is the General Editor of the nine-volume The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen, editor of the volume Jane Austen in Context, and co-editing Persuasion and Later Manuscripts[4] and author of the Cambridge Introduction to Jane Austen.[5] In the US she started the first journal devoted to women writers and more recently in the UK she has been the co-founder with Marie Mulvey-Roberts of Women's Writing.

Since retirement, she has revised her biography of Aphra Behn, Aphra Behn: A Secret Life, and published four novels: A Man of Genius, Don't You Know There's a War On?, Jane Austen and Shelley in the Garden, and an Austen spin-off, Lady Susan Plays the Game.[6] In 2018, she published Radiation Diaries, her account of a month of cancer treatment, a frank, witty and scholarly memoir, and, in 2019, a revised, colour-illustrated edition of Jane Austen's unfinished work, Jane Austen's Sanditon with an Essay by Janet Todd.


In the 2013 New Year Honours, Todd was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) "for services to higher education and literary scholarship".[7][8]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Secret Life of Aphra Behn. André Deutsch. 1996. ISBN 0-8135-2455-5.
  • Mary Wollstonecraft : A Revolutionary Life. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. 2000. ISBN 0-231-12184-9.
  • The Complete Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft. Columbia University Press. 2004. ISBN 0-7139-9600-5.
  • Daughters of Ireland. New York: Ballantine Books. 2004. ISBN 0-345-44763-8. (published as Rebel Daughters: Ireland in Conflict in the US)
  • The Cambridge Introduction to Jane Austen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2006. ISBN 978-0-521-67469-0.
  • Death & the Maidens: Fanny Wollstonecraft and the Shelley Circle. London: Profile Books;Berkeley: Counterpoint. 2007. ISBN 978-1-58243-339-4.
  • Later Manuscripts of Jane Austen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2009. ISBN 978-0-521-84348-5. Edited with Linda Bree
  • A Man of Genius, Bitter Lemon Press. 2016. ISBN 9781908524591
  • Aphra Behn: A Secret Life. Fentum Press. 16 May 2017. ISBN 9781909572065.
  • Radiation Diaries. Fentum Press. 2018. ISBN 978-1909572171
  • Jane Austen's Sanditon with an Essay by Janet Todd. Fentum Press. 2019. ISBN 978-1909572218
  • Don't You Know There's a War On?. Fentum Press. 2020. ISBN 978-1909572072 EBook ISBN 978-1909572201
  • Jane Austen and Shelley in the Garden. Fentum Press. 2021. ISBN 978-1909572270 EBook ISBN 978-1909572287


  1. ^ "List of Honorary Fellows Lucy Cavendish College". Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  2. ^ Sutherland, John (21 March 2006). "Interview: Janet Todd". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  3. ^ "The University of Glasgow Story". Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  4. ^ The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen. Cambridge University Press.
  5. ^ Todd, Janet (2006). Cambridge Introduction to Jane Austen. Cambridge University Press.
  6. ^ Todd, Janet (2016). Lady Susan Plays the Game. Bloomsbury Press.
  7. ^ "No. 60367". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2012. p. 14.
  8. ^ "New Year Honours List 2013 – General List" (PDF). Cabinet Office. Retrieved 29 December 2012.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by President of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge
Succeeded by