Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Dr Catherine Butler

Dr Catherine Butler

Senior Lecturer

+44(0)29 208 75971
2.41, Adeilad John Percival , Rhodfa Colum, Caerdydd, CF10 3EU


I joined Cardiff University in 2015, having previous worked at the University of the West of England in Bristol. My first academic interest was in Renaissance poetry but I now specialize in children's literature. 

I am the author of two monographs and the editor of five academic volumes, as well as having published six novels for children and young adults. I am also associate editor of the journal Children’s Literature in Education.

I am part of the School's English Literature research theme.

Additional publications

Books (academic)

Female Replies to Swetnam the Woman-Hater. Edited with introduction (Thoemmes Press, 1995), pp.v-xli.

Teaching Children’s Fiction. Edited with introduction and appendices. (Palgrave, 2006), pp.1-5, 189-205.

Four British Fantasists: Place and Culture in  the Children’s Fantasies of Penelope Lively, Alan Garner, Susan Cooper, and Diana Wynne Jones (Scarecrow Press/ Children’s Literature Association, 2006). i-viii+311pp.

Winner of the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Myth and Fantasy Studies 2009

Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. Guest editor (with Hallie O’Donovan and Maureen Kincaid Speller) of special issue devoted to Diana Wynne Jones (Dec 2010).

Reading History in Children’s Books. Co-authored with Hallie O’Donovan (Palgrave, 2012). i-ix+207pp.

Roald Dahl: A New Casebook. Co-edited with Ann Alston (Palgrave, 2012). i-xiii+202pp.

Philip Pullman: A New Casebook. Co-edited with Thomas Halsdorf (Palgrave, 2014). 

Modern Children’s Literature (2nd Rev. Edition). Edited with Kimberley Reynolds (Palgrave, 2014).  i-xii+287pp.

Forthcoming: The Lion and the Unicorn. Guest editor (edited with Alison Waller and Elizabeth Hale) of special issue devoted to Margaret Mahy (2015).

Books (fiction)

The Darkling (Orion, 1997; McElderry, 1998).  Published in Danish as Skyggen Masker (Carlsen, 1998). 169pp.

Timon’s Tide (Orion, 1998; McElderry, 2000).186pp.

Calypso Dreaming (HarperCollins, 2002).191pp.

The Fetch of Mardy Watt (HarperCollins, 2004). 223pp.

Death of a Ghost (HarperCollins, 2006). 202pp.

The Lurkers (Usborne, 2006). Published in German as Wettlauf Gegen die Zeit (Cora Verlag, 2007). pp.171

Shortlisted for 2007 Southern Schools Book Award

Kiss of Death (Barrington Stoke, 2007). pp48.

Hand of Blood (Barrington Stoke, 2009). Published in Swedish as Den Blodiga Handen (Argasso, 2010). pp55.

Twisted Winter. Edited with introduction. (A & C Black, 2013). pp.144. Includes story, “A Dog is For Life”: 103-19.

Project Reports

The Learning and Teaching of Children’s Literature (Comenius sub-programme of EACEA Lifelong Learning Programme, 2012).

Articles and Chapters

‘Integrating Computing into the History Curriculum’, History and Computing 5 (1993): 199-203.

‘The Stagirite and the Scarecrow: Stanza 3 of Cowley’s ode “To the Royal Society” (1667)’, Restoration 21 (1997): 1-14.

‘Alan Garner’s Red Shift and the Shifting Ballad of “Tam Lin”’, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly26.2 (Summer 2001): 74-83.

Children’s Literature Association Honor Article (2001)

‘“Now Here: Where Now?” Magic as Reality and as Metaphor in the Work of Diana Wynne Jones’, in Diana Wynne Jones: An Exciting and Exacting Wisdom, ed. Teya Rosenberg et al (Peter Lang, 2002). 66-78. 

‘An Interview with Diana Wynne Jones’, in Diana Wynne Jones: An Exciting and Exacting Wisdom (Peter Lang, 2002). 163-72.

‘“You are feeling very sleepy…”: hypnosis, enchantment and mind-control in children’s fiction’, in Children’s Fantasy Fiction: Debates for the Twenty-First Century, ed. Nickianne Moody and Clare Horrocks (Association for Research in Popular Fictions, 2005). 175-90.

‘Holiday Work: On Writing for Children and for the Academy.’Commissioned article for Children’s Literature in Education. 38.3 (Sept. 2007): 163-72.

‘After the Inklings.’ In The Ring Goes Ever On: Proceedings of the Tolkien 2005 Conference, ed. Sarah Wells (Coventry: The Tolkien Society, 2008). Vo1. 1. 238-42.

‘Experimental Girls: Feminist and Transgender Discourses in Bill’s New Frock and Marvin Redpost: Is He a Girl?’, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 34.1 (March 2009): 3-20. 

 ‘Children of the Stones: Prehistoric Sites in British Children’s Fantasy, 1965-2005.’ In Written on Stone: The Cultural Reception of Prehistoric Monuments, ed. Joanne Parker (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009). 143-54.

‘Psychological Approaches to Children’s Literature’; ‘Postmodernism’; and ‘Film Adaptation: The Case of The Secret Garden’. 171-77, 178-84 and 195-205 in Children’s Literature Studies: A Handbook for Research, edited by M. O. Grenby and Kimberley Reynolds (Palgrave, 2011).

‘Modern Children’s Fantasy,’ in The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature, edited by Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn (CUP, 2012). 224-35.

‘Reflecting on Reflections’ and ‘A Conversation with Diana Wynne Jones’, in Diana Wynne Jones, Reflections (David Fickling, 2012). ix-xviii, 255-79.

‘Introduction’, in Roald Dahl: A New Casebook, edited by Ann Alston and Catherine Butler (Palgrave, 2012). 1-13.

‘La Fantasy pour la jeunesse dans les iles britanniques.’ La Revue des Livres Pour Enfants (Feb 2013): 104-109.

‘Critiquing Calypso: Authorial and Academic Bias in the Reading of a Young Adult Novel’, Children's Literature in Education. 44.3 (2013), 264-79.

‘Tolkien and Worldbuilding’, in Tolkien and Children’s Fiction: A New Casebook, edited by Peter Hunt (Palgrave, 2013), 106-120.

Enchanting Places: Readers and Pilgrimage in the Novels of Diana Wynne Jones’, Strange Horizons, 27 October 2014. 

Forthcoming: ‘Margaret Mahy – Librarian of Babel’ in The Lion and the Unicorn (2015).

Forthcoming: ‘Children’s Literature: Ideologies of the Past, Present and Future’, in Clare Hanson and Susan Watkins (eds.) The History of British Women’s Writing, 1945-75, Vol. 9 (2015).

Forthcoming: ‘Counterfactuals Historical Fiction’, in Maria Nikolajeva and Clementine Beauvais, eds., The Edinburgh Companion to Children’s Literature (Edinburgh University Press, 2017).

Miscellaneous Publications

Want to save the United Kingdom? Move the capital to Glasgow’, The Guardian, 19 June 2014.

Plato’s Orpheus’ [poem], Strange Horizons. 6 October 2014.

‘Taking Children’s Literature Seriously,’ The Author, CXXV (Winter 2014), 126-27.











  • Alston, A. and Butler, C. eds. 2012. Roald Dahl. New Casebooks. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • Butler, C. and O'Donovan, H. 2012. Reading history in children's books. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Butler, C. 2012. Reflecting on Reflections. In: Jones, D. W. ed. Reflections: On the Magic of Writing. Oxford: David Fickling Books, pp. ix-xviii.
  • Butler, C. 2012. A conversation with Diana Wynne Jones. In: Jones, D. W. ed. Reflections: On the Magic of Writing. Oxford: David Fickling Books, pp. 255-279.
  • Butler, C. 2012. Modern children’s fantasy. In: James, E. and Mendlesohn, F. eds. The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature. Cambridge Companions to Literature Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 224-235.
  • Butler, C. 2012. Introduction. In: Alston, A. and Butler, C. eds. Roald Dahl: A New Casebook. New Casebooks Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 1-13.


  • Butler, C. 2011. Psychological approaches to children’s literature. In: Grenby, M. O. and Reynolds, K. eds. Children's Literature Studies: A Research Handbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 171-177.
  • Butler, C. 2011. Postmodernism. In: Grenby, M. O. and Reynolds, K. eds. Children's Literature Studies: A Research Handbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 178-184.
  • Butler, C. 2011. Film adaptation: the case of The Secret Garden. In: Grenby, M. O. and Reynolds, K. eds. Children's Literature Studies: A Research Handbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 195-205.




  • Butler, C. 2008. After the Inklings. In: Wells, S. ed. The Ring Goes Ever on - Proceedings of the Tolkien 2005 Conference: v. 1&2: 50 Years of The Lord of the Rings., Vol. 1. Coventry: The Tolkien Society, pp. 238-242.








  • Butler, C. 1998. Timon’s tide. A Dolphin paperback. London: Orion Children's.




  • Butler, C. 1995. Introduction. In: Butler, C. ed. Female Replies to Swetnam the Woman-Hater.. For Her Own Good: A Series of Conduct Books Thoemmes Continuum, pp. v-xli.



My current teaching is primarily in children's literature, which I teach both from the point of view of academic criticism and as a branch of creative writing.

My research is centred on children’s literature, especially fantasy and historical fiction. Other research interests include: 

  • gender identity
  • the relationship of the academy to creative authors and ‘lay’ readers
  • fan fiction

I welcome informal queries from potential PhD students whose plans overlap with any of my listed interests.


Goruchwyliaeth gyfredol

Eris Leigh

Research student


Pamela Anne

Research student

Past projects