Cassandra Elizabeth James was born on 14th December 1960 in York. She was educated at the Mount School in York, and took a first class degree in English from the University of Oxford, where she attended St Hilda’s College. This was followed by a PhD on the Victorian novel at the University of Birmingham. She was lecturer in English at the University of Sheffield from 1985 to 1994, in which year she took up her present appointment as a lecturer in English at St Etheldreda’s College, Cambridge. She became head of department in 1999.
She has written widely on Victorian literature. Her latest book Poetry of the fin-de-siècle was published by Atlantis Press (2001). Recent articles include ‘Death and the Maiden: “The Lady of Shalott” and the Pre-Raphaelites’, in Re-framing the Pre-Raphaelites, edited by Ellen Harding (London: Scolar Press, 1996), and ‘Cross-dressing at the fin-de-siècle: Fiona Macleod, Michael Field et al, ‘ in The Journal of Fin-de-Siècle Studies.
In 1983, she married Joseph Baldassarre (divorced 1986); then in 1991, Simon Legat (divorced 1995).