Hi! You may know me from my Gothic classes online but I also offer some other paid services! What are my qualifications?

  • PhD – ‘Theology and the Early British Gothic’ (Manchester Metropolitan Univesrity)
  • PGCLTHE (Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Man Met)
  • MLitt The Gothic Imagination – Distinction (Stirling University)
  • CELTA – Pass A (IH Johannesburg)
  • MA (Hons) Spanish and Russian – First Class (St Andrews University)
  • I’ve been teaching for over 15 years. I’ve managed the educational side of a language school in Russia. Taught children from 4 – 18 and adults of all ages. I’ve taught English, Spanish, Russian, English Literature…
  • I’ve been proof-reading (specialising in academic texts) for 5 years

Each of the services I offer is tailored to you and your needs. For each I offer various options at reasonable prices and we discuss exactly what you want and need.


My base rate is £25 an hour but please contact me for details, specifics and discounts. I offer tutoring in a range of subjects:

  • English Literature (any level) specialising in Gothic Literature, 18th and 19th century literature, Literature and Theology.
  • GCSE and A-Level prep in English, English Literature, Spanish and Russian
  • English, Maths and History at Key Stage 1 and 2
  • Spanish (Any Level)
  • Russian (Beginner – Intermediate)
  • EFL/ESOL (All ages and levels.

I have extensive experience in working with students of all ages over a career of over 14 years in education. I have experience in all the areas above.


Holly is am amazing teacher, very patient and teaches you the way you learn best – Tizzy

Holly recently started tutoring my daughter and is very friendly and approachable. With her sound knowledge of the curriculum and exam requirements she makes the lessons fun, whilst covering a lot of ground – Mary (A-level Spanish)


I charge by the hour (£25) and you pay only for how much time it takes – I find this a fairer method than by the page and both quick and accurate. For assignments with less than 24 hours notice, I charge double time.

I have been a free-lance proof-reader specialising in academic proof-reading for 5 years including: dissertations, theses, essays, chapters, book reviews, conference papers, edited chapters, articles. I also do general proof-reading but not legal and further specialise particularly in proof-reading for speakers whose first language is Russian, Spanish or Portuguese.

I offer a range of different options which we can discuss and range from basic grammar and punctuation checks to style feedback and content review. I DO NOT provide content (please don’t ask)


I got Holly’s contact from a friend as I was needing someone to proofread my Graded Unit. Since then I have never stopped using her service. As a result I got grade A for my HNC graded unit and the following year I got grade A + for my HND graded unit. Holly has been proofreading all my college and university work for over four years. My writing has improved, my reading and attention to detail has also improved. It is very good when I am questioned “are you sure about that?”. It makes me re-think and write it clearly which makes me more confident when submitting an assignment. Holly is highly skilled in her work and provides a tailored service and works well on tight deadlines. Proofreading is really useful and I highly recommend  Holly Hirst’s services to others – Cleide

Holly has proof-read my sister’s MA thesis in technical writing as well as several academic articles (around 5000-8000 words) that I wrote in my field (literature and popular culture). Her rates are very reasonable. She is quick, efficient and thorough, pays attention to both form and content and knows how to phrase her comments so that they will be well received and useful. She is as far as humanly possible from the dreaded vicious academic “reviewer 2”, and moreover a great sounding-board for more nebulous ideas that you don’t quite know how to express – Caroline, PhD

Invited talks and classes

Price available upon discussion of specific requirements

I have previous experience with visiting talks to schools and other forms of public engagement. Perhaps I’m exactly what you’re looking for to add to your Gothic curriculum, special interest group or event?

I can work with small groups in in depth workshops, large groups for interactive lectures or online.

Areas of expertise: Gothic and Romance, Gothic and Theology, 18th and 19th century Gothic Literature, Gothic ghosts, Demonic Depiction, Vampires, Immortality in Literature and much more! Give me a shout!


For several years we have had the pleasure of having Holly visit Sale Grammar School to deliver lectures, workshops and seminars for a range of age groups at Key Stages 4 ad 5 on various Literature texts; all of her sessions have been incredibly engaging for all of the students and meticulously planned so that they were all perfectly pitched for the groups involved.Holly’s visits have been part of Sale Grammar School’s endeavour to forge links with local universities to encourage our students to embrace their studies of English with a hope of studying it further, at either A Level or at University.There can be no doubt that Holly’s visits to our school and her teaching have motivated students tremendously, and that the feedback from students and staff alike has been nothing but positive.More specifically, Holly delivered ‘lectures/workshops’ to whole year groups at GCSE in the school hall on one of their key Literature texts, ‘Jekyll and Hyde’.Holly introduced contextual factors regarding Darwinism relevant to the Victorian reader in a way that students grasped and brought to their subsequent essays – Holly’s sessions really did enhance the learning that the teachers had been doing within the classroom! Holly has delivered seminars to our A Level students, after school, on their key Comedy text ‘Twelfth Night’. These were well attended and Holly gave a real insight into different interpretations of the text.The students absolutely loved these sessions, as did the staff… we were only sorry that there could not have been one this year due to the current situation!While Holly was in school she also came into other classes and did question answer sessions with Year 10 students.She also delivered seminars to small groups of Year 12 and Year 13 students on ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, another of their examination texts – this gave students a real flavour of university style teaching.

Contact me for more details on price and services. During the current situation, I will be offering discounts to those who need them and anyone attending ‘Romancing the Gothic.’

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