Daniel Buckingham

Department of English Literature
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

Phd title: ‘Licence to Tease’: Satire, Celebrity, and Apology in the Mid-Century Middlebrow
SupervisorsDr Nathan Waddell and Dr Rebecca Roach


  • BA (hons) English Literature (University of Reading)
  • MA by Research English Literature (University of Birmingham)

Doctoral research


My research takes as its foundational assumption the idea that certain twentieth-century middlebrow writers—Nancy Mitford, P.G. Wodehouse, and G.K. Chesterton—can be understood as satirists. My work engages with the implications of this assumption, stressing the interpretive opportunities which arise from a clash between the transgressive unpalatability of satire and the delight and pleasure often associated with the middlebrow. 

In particular, my project forges exciting new avenues for discussion of the satiric apologia, often dismissed as an exaggerated and unpersuasive attempt to paint the satirist in an implausibly flattering light, and makes the case for reassessing this device in the context of the middlebrow’s power to assuage and negotiate unpalatability. The issue of literary reputation also gives rise to discussion of celebrity across my work, which notes a convergence between the shift from fame to celebrity, on the one hand, and a shift in satire from genre to mode at the turn of the century. 

Given my twin emphases on the urgency of satirical transgression and the enduring impact of the satiric apologia, my research also encompasses the related fields of contemporary biographical fiction, the biopic, and adaptation studies.

Other activities

  • Reviews Editor for Ad Alta: the Birmingham Journal of Literature
  • Conferences: ‘De-feminising Fenimore: Positioning the Rival in David Lodge’s Author, AuthorPostmodernist Biofictions Conference – University of Reading 27/3/17



  • Buckingham, D, ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four on Radio, Stage, and Screen" in The Cambridge Companion to 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'
  • Buckingham, D, "'The Shadow of Henry James': Biofiction and the Distorted Image" in Biofiction and Writers' Afterlives.

Book reviews

  • Taylor, D.J., On Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Biography (New York: Abrams Press, 2019), George Orwell Studies.