Simon Clewes

Photograph of Simon Clewes

Department of English Literature
Doctoral researcher
Teaching Assistant

Contact details

Phd title: Happily Never After: Male-Male Desire and Love in the Gothic Writing of William Godwin and his Circle
Supervisors: Louise Curran, Kate Rumbold and Charlotte Ross
PhD English Literature


  • MRes Sexuality and Gender Studies (UoB, thesis passed without corrections)
  • BA English and American Literatures (University of Keele, first class honours)
  • NCTJ Diploma in Journalism (gold standard)


After graduating from Keele with a first class honours degree in English and American Literatures in 2012, I embarked on a career in journalism and qualified to gold standard with the NCTJ. Academia drew me back, however, and with a wish to further my research into male-male desire in the early Gothic I completed the MRes Sexuality and Gender Studies at UoB in 2015-16. I was fortunate enough to then be awarded M3C funding to embark on my PhD studies at Birmingham, and commenced my project in 2018.


My project aims to document and resituate male-male homoerotic desire in the Gothic writing of William Godwin and his circle. There has been a continued theoretical neglect in this area given the hesitancy to read sexuality into pre-Victorian literature and, as such, the importance of homoeroticism is continued downplayed or altogether ignored. My study will place sexuality at the forefront of my argument, showing how authors depict a series of doomed love stories in which strong sexual desire between men is denied the ability to transform into passionate love by the homophobic patriarchal politics of the time—something that, time and time again, has tragic consequences.