Lesley Hulonce is a fixed-term lecturer in the Department of History and Classics, and her research interests include children, women, poverty and class in nineteenth and twentieth-century Britain. This however is her second career and one which is relatively recent. Although she has always enjoyed learning, her school career was not a success. She finally took the plunge and returned to education as a single parent in her forties via Swansea University’s Department of Adult Continued Education (DACE) at first, and fell in love with history. Happily she also discovered she was really very good at it!
Lesley graduated from the History Department in 2007 with a First Class Honours degree and the highest marks of her year. She competed for and won an AHRC MA Studentship with the support of the History Department and subsequently gained her MA degree with Distinction. In 2009 she was offered a funded PhD studentship from COAH and completed her PhD in 2013. Since 2011 Lesley has taught students in DACE and the Department of History and Classics, which she describes as ‘one of the most enriching experiences of my life’. She is now writing her first monograph based on her PhD research into children and the poor laws in Victorian and Edwardian Britain.
While she reports feeling extremely proud of her achievements in Higher Education, she admits that they have not been without setbacks and adjustments. Few people know that for Lesley these years have also been a time of managing mental health issues, especially anxiety and depression, with various levels of success. At times, coping with all the demands of academia has been difficult while suffering from depression, but Lesley relates that ‘as historical research and teaching are such an important and enjoyable part of my life, I know that I will always find a way to manage and overcome my mental health issues’.
Blog: Workhouse Tales