Fiona Stafford, Fellow in English at Somerville College, is the subject of an article on the University’s website about ballooning fever during the Romantic period.

The article explores Professor Stafford’s finding that late 18th-century British writers were unusually interested in the new venture of hot air ballooning, with ‘ballooon mania’ enjoying a particular pinnacle in 1783-6.

Professor Stafford made the discovery while researching her next book, The Oxford History of English Literature: The Romantic Period, 1785-1830. The book will be published by Oxford University Press.

“Again and again I found that very different writers, who would not normally be read alongside each other, were united by a fascination with balloons,” Professor Stafford was reported as saying.

The full article can be found on the University news pages.

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