Sara Brio

Sara Brio

PhD Student

Summary: I am examining Victorian authors' use of Egyptian motifs as a means of exploring and developing views on the afterlife in reaction to traditional Christian theology.


Research Areas:

Egyptology / Religion in the Victorian era / Victorian spiritualism / Literary afterlives

Research Summary: 

My thesis focuses on Victorian 'Egyptian Fiction.' I am examining the authors' use of Egyptian motifs as a means of exploring and developing views on the afterlife, particularly focusing on H. Rider Haggard, Marie Corelli, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Loudon, and Edgar Allan Poe. Throughout my research, I will be engaging with a broad range of cultural dialogues including biblical archaeology, spiritualism, scientific development, evolution, and cultural myth. What particularly intrigues me about these imaginative forays into the ancient past are the ways they both confront and interact with traditional Christian views of eternal life and immortality. 

Recent Publications/Presentations:

24 September, 2016: 'Prefiguring the Cross: A Typological Reading of H. Rider Haggard's Cleopatra', Tea with the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt and the Modern Imagination, University of Birmingham.

'Brendan Fraser and Victorian Egyptology: A Nineteenth-Century Review of Universal Pictures' The Mummy' The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates 

'Unwrapping the Self: Victorian Mummy Unwrappings and Questions of Mortality' The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates 


Writing Critically, Semester 1, 2016-17

Victorian Literature, Semester 2, 2016-17

Other Academic Activities:

Writing Mentor-University of Leeds, 2014-15 

Postgraduate Research Representative-Student/Staff Forum, 2014-15 

Background Information:

I graduated with a master's degree in Victorian Literature from University of Leeds in 2012 and am very pleased to be continuing my education here, funded by the Bonamy Dobrée scholarship. My previous research focused on fairy tales and religion in the Victorian era and my MA dissertation focused specifically on that relationship in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre and George MacDonald's 'The Light Princess' and The Wise Woman. My current research evolved from this focus on religion in the Victorian era after I unearthed a significant gap in research on the specific topic of the afterlife in relation to imaginative representations of Egypt.