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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Dr Charlotte Lee

Dr Charlotte Lee
University Associate Professor
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages & Linguistics
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
+44 (0)1223 762205

Murray Edwards College
Huntingdon Road
United Kingdom


Charlotte's primary focus is German literature and thought of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her first book, The Very Late Goethe: Self-Consciousness and the Art of Ageing (2014), examined the role of memory in shaping Goethe's last works, and argued that old age can be a time of great insight and creativity. Charlotte has been involved in a number of projects which seek to address negative perceptions of ageing in our own society.

Charlotte is currently working on a study of the relationship between poetry and movement: that is, of how poetry can convey and even stimulate a sense of movement. The project, which looks at poetry in German, English and French, works at the intersection between literature and cognitive science. To find out more about this project, click here.

She is an Honorary Secretary to the English Goethe Society and co-editor of Publications of the English Goethe Society.

Charlotte welcomes enquiries from potential MPhil and PhD students with research interests relevant to her interests.

Teaching interests: 

Charlotte lectures and supervises on 18th century to the present day.

Research interests: 

18th and 19th-century German literature

Poetry and versification

Cognitive approaches to literature

Ageing / cultural gerontology

Published works: 


The Very Late Goethe: Self-Consciousness and the Art of Ageing (Oxford: Legenda, 2014).

Edited volume

Goethe in Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2024).

German Life and Letters, vol. 70.4 (2017), special number: ‘Embodied Cognition around 1800’, co-edited with Katharina Engler-Coldren and Lore Knapp.

Edited Anthology

German Romantic Poetry. Everyman's Library, Pocket Poets Series (New York: Knopf, forthcoming 2024).

Essays and articles

'Rhythmus (Rhythm)', in Goethe-Lexicon of Philosophical Concepts, vol. 1, no. 2, Nov. 2021, doi:10.5195/glpc.2021.42.

‘Agency and embodiment in Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship’, in Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship and Philosophy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020), ed. by Sarah Vandegrift Eldridge and C. Allen Speight, pp. 164-85

‘The delicate flux of world and spirit: Barthold Heinrich Brockes and distributed cognition’, in Distributed Cognition in Enlightenment and Romantic Culture, ed. by Miranda Anderson, George Rousseau and Michael Wheeler; vol. 3 of The Edinburgh History of Distributed Cognition (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019), pp. 40-52.

‘A meeting of minds? The dialogue between voices female and male in the poems of the West-östlicher Divan’, in Gender, Collaboration, and Authorship in German Culture: Literary Joint Ventures, 1750-1850, ed. by Laura Deiulio and John Lyon (New York: Bloomsbury, 2019), pp. 209-226.

‘Cognition in Action: Goethe’s Märchen’, Publications of the English Goethe Society 87.3 (2018), 121-130.

‘Movement and embodiment in Klopstock and Goethe’, German Life and Letters 70.4 (2017), 508-17.

‘Johann Peter Hebel and the dynamics of hope’, German Life and Letters 68.4 (2015), 517-28.

 ‘Sie ist so ferne ihm, und doch so nah: reciprocity and exchange in the lyric poetry of Sophie Mereau’, Publications of the English Goethe Society 84 (2015), 63-75.

‘Home and homelessness in works by Novalis, Dorothea Schlegel, and Tieck’, Modern Language Review 109.4 (2014), 1030-47.

‘Im flüßgen Element hin und wieder schweifen: development and return in Goethe’s poetry and Hegel’s philosophy’, Goethe Yearbook 20 (2013), 167-77.

‘Mignon and the idea of the secret’, chapter in The Present Word: Culture, Society and the Site of Literature. Essays in honour of Nicholas Boyle, ed. by John Walker (Oxford: Legenda, 2013), pp. 61-69.

‘Durch Wunderkraft erschienen: affinities between Goethe’s Faust and Shakespeare’s The Tempest’, Modern Language Review 107.1 (2012), 198-210, reprinted in German in British-deutscher Literaturtransfer 1756-1832, ed. by Lore Knapp and Eike Kronshage (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016), pp. 193-200.

‘Wenn ich leben soll, so sei es mit dir! The relationship between father and son in Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre’, German Life and Letters 64.4 (2011), 489-500.

‘Fausts Credo in wechselnder Beleuchtung’, Jahrburch des Freien Deutschen Hochstifts (2011), 8-22.

Book reviews for the Modern Language Review and the Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies.