Helen Small is Merton Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford. She held a Junior Research Fellowship at St Catharine’s from 1990-1993, before moving to the University of Bristol (1993-96), and then Pembroke College, Oxford (1996-). Her teaching, editing, and much of her writing have concentrated on Victorian literature. She has wider interests in the connections between literature and philosophy (especially moral and critical philosophy). Her book The Long Life (2007) argues that to understand old age we have to consider more fundamentally what it means to be a person, to have a life, to have or to lead a ‘good’ life and to be part of a just society. The Value of the Humanities (2013) is a critical account of the arguments standardly employed to defend the public value of the humanities. She is currently working on a Leverhulme-funded book entitled The Function of Criticism at the Present Time.