Philip V. AllinghamPhilip Victor Allingham was The Victorian Web’s first contributing editor: he began contributing to the website in 2001 when he spent a month in Singapore as a Visiting Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore.

Born in Leeds in 1947, Philip emigrated with his family to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and took his BA in Honours English (minors in Classical Studies and Theatre) at the University of British Columbia. Subsequently he entered the teacher education program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, and taught at secondary schools in Etobicoke, Ontario, and Victoria, British Columbia. With Master's degrees in Educational Administration and English from the University of Victoria, he applied to the doctoral program in English at U. B. C. in 1981. While working on his dissertation, he taught in the North Vancouver and Greater Victoria School Districts, notably at Balmoral Jr. Secondary in North Vancouver and at Mt. View, Esquimalt, and Oak Bay Secondary Schools in Victoria.

After receiving his doctorate for a thesis entitled The Dramatic Adaptations of "The Christmas Books" of Charles Dickens, 1844-1848: Texts and Contexts, Philip moved on to a career in scholarly research, publication, and higher education in English and Education. While working in the Examinations Branch of the B. C. Ministry of Education from 1988 to 1991, he taught survey courses in the novel, the Victorian novel, short fiction, and eight major British authors for the English Department at U. B. C. While taking up various teaching positions, both there and, for example, at the College of the Rockies, Golden Campus, and also serving as an executive of the local teachers' union and of the British Columbia Teachers of English Language Arts (BCTELA), he published more than two dozen scholarly articles on Dickens and Hardy. These focussed on serial publication and illustration. They appeared in such journals as The Dickensian, The Dickens Quarterly, The Thomas Hardy Journal, The Thomas Hardy YearBook, and Nineteenth-Century Literature. He also contributed to teacher guides for the Global Shakespeare Series (ITP Nelson) editions of Julius Caesar and King Lear.

In 2000, Philip was appointed as an assistant professor, Intermediate/Senior English Curriculum and Instruction, in the Faculty of Education at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, where he remained until retiring as an Emeritus Professor in 2016. Over the course of his tenure at Lakehead University he presented conference papers at the Canadian Society for Studies in Education at Laval, Quebec; the Society for Teaching and Learning at St. John's, Newfoundland; and the Dickens Society of America conferences at Roanoke, Virginia; Oakland University, Michigan; Springfield, Massachusetts; Queen's University, Belfast; Kingston-on-Thames; Aix-en-Provence; Dickens in Italy (Genoa); University of the Paris-Diderot, in the Dickens 2012 week-long series of lectures; St. Anselm’s College, Manchester, New Hampshire; Victoria College, University of Toronto; and Olstyn, Poland. In December 2001, he worked with Professor George Landow in the University Scholars Programme at the National University of Singapore in the capacity of Senior Fellow. There followed such important publications as "The Illustrations in The Haunted Man and The Ghost's Bargain: Public and Private Spaces and Spheres" in the Dickens Studies Annual (Vol. 36), "Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities Illustrated: A Critical Reassessment of Hablot Knight Browne's Plates" (Dickens Studies Annual, Vol. 33), and "Shadows in GreatExpectations" in English Language Notes 41, 3 (March 2004). On 19 December 2004 he was interviewed by Mary Hynes, the regular host of Tapestry, on Canadian national radio (CBC), when he discussed the origins of A Christmas Carol.

Subsequently, he delivered conference papers at Lublin, Poland, and Beziers, France, on illustrations in Great Expectations, 1860-1910, and on "The Sons of Empire" in Dickens's Christmas Stories — this latter was published in fuller form as "Seasonal Tales, Far-flung Settings: The Unfamiliar Landscapes of The Christmas Books and Stories (1843–1867)" in Milli mála - Journal of Language and Culture, University of Reykjavík, Iceland. He also delivered a plenary paper on the tensions between text and image in Oliver Twist at the Polish Association for Studies in English (PASE) conference in Warsaw in September 2015. Philip has also been a consultant to English in Australia, and, with the assistance of George Gorniak, Editor of The Dickens Magazine.

Philip as V. Allingham

After retirement, Philip and his wife moved to Victoria, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island. In the past several years, he has developed an online course on the eighteenth novel for Thompson Rivers University, taught "Chaucer to Milton" (English 2111) and "Shakespeare on Film" (English 3651) online for the same university, and has also taught English to foreign students for the Vancouver Public Education Alliance (VPEA) and Ouyang International, as well as giving an education course for Vancouver Island University.

Philip is a keen participant in local theatrical productions. For example, in August 2022 he appeared as Philario in the Cowichan Valley Players' production of Shakespeare's Cymbeline; more recently, in the spring of 2024, he appeared as the King's Officer in Moliere's Tartuffe with the Mercury Players in Duncan — as seen on the left here. Although technically retired, he is constantly looking for further adventures in literature. The next adventure awaits!

Last modified 5 August 2022