For almost a decade, Stephen Basdeo has been researching and writing about the past, and has focused in particular upon the study of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century cultural history and print culture.
It was Stephen’s interest in nineteenth-century culture which prompted him to set up this magazine website.
Stephen was born in Leeds in 1984 and attended Garforth Community College, where like most British school kids he gained his GCSEs.
It was during this time that Stephen’s love of history and English first developed and in 2001, Stephen went on to study for his A Levels at the then Park Lane College, Leeds. During this time he avidly read a number of history books and watched a number of period dramas—ITV’s The Forsyte Saga was one of his favourites—which cemented his love for all things Victorian.
But as Stephen finished his A Levels the big world of grown up work was calling.
Having spent some time working for various companies such as ATOS and the NHS in an administrative capacity, Stephen went on to apply to study at university at the age of 24.
Stephen Basdeo’s Education
Stephen Basdeo completed his BA (Hons) History in 2013 at Leeds Beckett University.
During this time Stephen wrote a dissertation on the periodicals of Joseph Addison and Richard Steele. Stephen’s dissertation went to win the Alan MacGregor Award for Exceptional Contribution to the School of Cultural Studies.
During the final years of his BA studies, Stephen Basdeo also developed an interest in crime history.
Stephen subsequently earnt an MA in History at Leeds Beckett University where he completed a dissertation on portrayals of highwaymen in nineteenth-century literature.
The final part of Stephen Basdeo’s journey in his education came when he was awarded a studentship to undertake doctoral research at Leeds Trinity University on literary portrayals of the original highwayman: Robin Hood.
Over the next few years, Stephen became an expert in all things Robin Hood. His thesis was supervised by Professor Paul Hardwick and Professor Rosemary Mitchell.
But Stephen was no mere monk. During his Ph.D. studies he also organised two international conferences and participate in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities.
It was during his Ph.D. studies that Stephen also got his first taste of working as a teacher. To help him in this regard he also completed a Postgraduate Certificate of Higher Education (just like what teachers do, but for higher education).
During this time, Stephen developed a love and admiration for the works of Sir Walter Scott, whose novels he continues to read frequently. Stephen’s favourite Scott novels are The Antiquary (1816) and Ivanhoe (1819). Stephen has written short articles on both of these novels for this website.
Stephen also published several books and academic articles between 2016 and 2021.
Stephen’s first peer-reviewed academic article was titled ‘Robin Hood the Brute’ and appeared in the journal Law, Crime, and History. He has also published a number of book chapters during this time as well. His publications are on subjects as diverse as eighteenth-century crime to Victorian periodicals.
Stephen’s first book was The Life and Legend of a Rebel Leader: Wat Tyler (2018). After this book several more appeared, snippets of which have appeared on this website. Stephen then published The Lives and Exploits of the Most Noted Highwaymen (2018). Following this there was Robin Hood: The Life and Legend of an Outlaw (2019). The summer of 2020 saw the release of Heroes and Villains of the British Empire (2020) and then a biography of Joseph Ritson.
Further books followed including a biography of George William MacArthur Reynolds (Stephen's favourite author) as well as an edited version of The Secret History of the Court of England (2023).
Since completing his Ph.D., Stephen has served as a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and Richmond: The American International University (Leeds campus) and has taught on a variety of courses.
Stephen Basdeo and Reynolds’s News and Miscellany
During this time, Stephen established this website. The site was initially titled Here Begynneth a Lytell Geste of Robin Hood.
Stephen founded the website with the intent of publishing snippets of his Ph.D. research on Robin Hood.
However, Stephen had long maintained an interest in Victorian literature and culture more generally. So Stephen Basdeo began to feature on his website a number of articles and features that were wholly unrelated to Robin Hood.
Two authors that Stephen Basdeo wrote about quite frequently were the above-mentioned George W.M. Reynolds and Pierce Egan the Younger.
With this in mind, in 2021 Stephen decided to change the title of this website to Reynolds’s News and Miscellany, in honour of the magazines founded by the aforementioned George W.M. Reynolds.
Since Reynolds’s News and Miscellany was founded, Stephen has re-published on this site several “lost” pieces of Victorian fiction.
Reynolds’s News and Miscellany has also become a bona fide publisher. We have started to reprint, in a cheap and accessible format, long-lost penny dreadfuls and other short pieces of Victorian fiction.
Since Stephen Basdeo redesigned and renamed the website, he has also enlisted the help of several more people interested in this project such as Jessica Elizabeth Thomas.
Stephen still lives in Leeds. He has a cat called Robin (named after Robin Hood). He is also a second-hand book collector and is always on the lookout for new acquisitions, having managed to collect original copies of all G.W.M. Reynolds’s works.
Stephen also welcomes any discussion or contact from people with similar literary interests! See the ‘About’ tab for more information and please do get in touch if you would like to contribute anything.
Dr Stephen Basdeo
Stephen Basdeo is a historian and writer based in Leeds, UK. He is the author of several peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and popular history books.491 Articles