Department of English


English Language and Literature

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Photo: Leslie Ritchie

Leslie Ritchie


PhD McMaster

  • British literature of the Restoration and eighteenth century
  • music, popular prints, and other performance-related ephemera
  • David Garrick and London theatre, 1741-1776
  • eighteenth-century British newspapers

"In my research, I interpret cultural ephemera and the material traces left behind by readers, performers and printers working in London in the eighteenth century. I will read anything: from prologues scribbled on the backs of letters to advertisements in the excruciatingly small typefaces common to eighteenth-century newspapers. Lately, I’ve been excited to investigate the power structures underlying London’s newspaper industry and show how they enabled the actor-manager David Garrick’s lasting celebrity. If you’re in one of my seminars, chances are you’ll be reading widely, and perhaps even visiting W.D. Jordan Library to work with our Special Collections of books and pamphlets from the 1700s."


  • 613-533-6000, ext. 74429
  • office hours: Mon. 1:30 - 3 pm
  • office: Watson Hall, Room 427

2020-21 Courses

Recent Publications

David Garrick and the Mediation of Celebrity. Cambridge University Press, 2019. 

“Pox on Both Your Houses: The Battle of the Romeos.” Georgian Theatre in an Information Age: Media, Performance, Sociability. Eds. Daniel O'Quinn and Gillian Russell. Eighteenth-Century Fiction 27:3 (Spring-Summer 2015). 373-393.

“Theatre and Commerce.” The Wiley Encyclopedia of British Literature 1660-1789. Eds. Jack Lynch and Gary Day.  (2015).

“The Spouters’ Revenge: Apprentice Actors and the Imitation of London’s Theatrical Celebrities.” The Eighteenth Century: Theory & Interpretation 53.1 (Winter 2012). 41-71.

Women Writing Music in Late Eighteenth-Century England: Social Harmony in Literature and Performance, 1740-1800.  Routledge, 2008, 2012.

Current Supervisions

I welcome prospective students with interests in all things eighteenth century, but particularly drama, women’s writing, performance, and media. I have served as a reader on committees concerning readerly communities, the sublime, exploration literature, Samuel Richardson, Aphra Behn, amongst other topics.