Cheryl Blake Price, Ph.D.

Cheryl Price256.765.4488
UNA Box 5050
215 Willingham Hall
Associate Professor, English


Research & Teaching Fields:
18th and 19th Century British Literature, Crime Fiction, Literature and Science, Ecocriticism, and Literature and Medicine

Appalachian State University B.A. in English 2003
University of North Carolina at Wilmington M.A. in English


Florida State University Ph.D. in Victorian Literature 2012


Chemical Crimes is under contract with the Ohio State University Press and will be published in spring 2019.

In Chemical Crimes: Science and Poison in Victorian Crime Fiction, Cheryl Blake Price delves into the dark world of Victorian criminality to examine how poison allowed authors to disrupt gender boundaries, genre, and the professionalization of science. Tracing the role of the chemical crime through the works of Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Ellen Wood, Edward Bulwer Lytton, L. T. Meade, Charles Warren Adams, and Wilkie Collins, Price argues that poison this intervention not only provided a useful tool for authors to challenge the growing power of science but also that its fluid nature and ability to mix, mingle, and transcend boundaries made it ideal for generic experimentation.

From the Newgate and Silver Fork novels of the 1830s to the emergent genres of science and detective fiction of the 1890s, Price advocates for the classification of a new type of poisoner, one who combined crime with methodical scientific know-how: the chemical criminal. Chemical Crimes shows how authors used the subversiveness of chemical crimes to challenge the supposed disciplinary force of forensic detection and suggests that generic developments were inspired as much by criminal scientific innovation as they were by the rise of the detective–scientist. By focusing on chemical crime’s appearance at significant moments, this book traces how reactions to Victorian science inspired change in nineteenth-century crime fiction.


  • "Probability and Capital Crime: The Rise and Fall of the Actuarial Detective in Victorian Crime Fiction."  Clues: A Journal of Detection. 34.2 (2016): 7-17.
  • "Medical Bluebeards: The Poisoning Doctor in the Popular Fiction of Ellen Wood." Victorian Medicine and Popular Culture.  Eds. Tabitha Sparks and Louise Penner.  London: Pickering and Chatto, 2015: 81-94.
  • "Vegetable Monsters: Man-Eating Trees in Fin-de-Siècle Fiction." Victorian Literature and Culture. 41.2 (2013): 311-327.
  • "Poison, Sensation, and Secrets in The Lifted Veil." The Victorian Review. 35.1 (2010): 203-216.
  • Dr. Price is currently working on a book, Chemical Crimes: Science and Poison in Victorian Crime Fiction, which examines the poisoner in Victorian crime fiction, arguing that authors created scientifically adept chemical criminals to explore the growth of specialized science during the nineteenth century. Her book offers a new way of understanding the generic developments of Victorian crime fiction and demonstrates that criminal innovations (as opposed to forensic advancements or the development of the detective) were deeply influential in the shaping of this literature.

Undergraduate Courses Taught:

  • EN 111: First Year Composition I
  • EN 112: First Year Composition II
  • EN 211: Survey of British Literature I
  • EN 212: Survey of British Literature II
  • EN 303: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British Literature
  • EN 325: Romantic Literature
  • EN 326: Victorian Literature
  • EN 402: Milton
  • EN 403: Shakespeare

Graduate Courses Taught:

  • Special Topics Course on Literature and Science (hybrid undergrad/graduate course)
  • EN 481/581: Transatlantic Women Writers
  • EN 601: Introduction to Graduate Studies
  • EN 623: Shakespeare
  • EN 631: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature
  • EN 632: Romantic Literature
  • EN 634: Victorian Literature