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University of Oxford Faculty of English

Ballaster, Ros

Position: Professor of 18th Century Studies; Lecturer and Tutorial Fellow, Mansfield College
College: Mansfield
Period/Subject: 18th Century

Email address:

Research Interests:

I have a continuing interest in the representation and construction of the engagement with story  as an ethical experience from the late seventeenth century to the mid nineteenth century, especially in the popular novel and in the theatre. I have published widely on the novel and women’s writing in the eighteenth century and am currently writing a book about the role of the theatre in the invention of the ‘novel’ over this period. The intention here is not simply to consider the use of novel plots as sources for plays but the presence of theatrical models of character, action and affect in the novel of the long eighteenth century, apprenticeships and continuing engagements with the theatre by more or less successful novelists.  I am interested in supervising doctoral students working in eighteenth-century women's writing, in the fiction of fantasy in the same period (it novels, oriental fiction, fairy tales), the early novel, theatre and performance of the Georgian and Regency periods.  

See also my website on Georgian Theatre and the Novel and occasional blog

Twitter: @BallasterRos

Teaching Interests:

Literature 1500-1800; the novel; Restoration and Georgian theatre; women’s writing; theories of character and cognition in literature; feminist theory and feminist writing. 

Recent Publications:

‘Rochester, Behn and Enlightenment Liberty,’ in  Lord Rochester in the Restoration  World, ed. by Matthew Augustine and Steven Zwicker (Cambridge: Cambridge  University Press. 2015), 207-230. ISBN 9781107064393

‘Satire and Embodiment: Allegorical Romance on Stage and Page in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Britain,’ in special issue of Eighteenth Century Fiction, eds. Daniel O’Quinn and Gillian Russell, Georgian Theatre in an Information Age: Media, Performance,    Sociability,  27.3-4 (Spring-Summer 2015):  631-660.

“Philosophical and Oriental Tales,”  in The Oxford History of the Novel in English: Volume 2: English and British Fiction 1750-1820, ed. by Peter Garside and Karen O’Brien (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 353-369. ISBN 9780199574803

‘The Sea-Born Tale: Eighteenth-Century English Translation of The Thousand and One Nights and the Lure of Elemental Difference,’  in Scheherazade’s Children: Global Encounters with the Arabian Nights, ed. by Marina Warner and Philip Kennedy (New York and London: New York University Press, 2013), 27-52. ISBN 9781479857098

'"Heart-Easing Mirth":  Charm in the Eighteenth Century', in Essays in Criticism: a quarterly journal of literary criticism, vol. 43, issue 3 (2013) ISSN 0014-0856, doi: 10.1093/escrit/cgt014

'Taking Liberties: Revisiting Aphra Behn's Libertinism', in Women's Writing, vol. 19, issue 2 (2012) ISSN 0969-9082, doi: 10.1080/09699082.2011.646861

'Playing the second string: the role of Dinarzade in eighteenth-century English fiction', in The Arabian Nights in Historical Context Between East and West, ed. Saree Makdisi and Felicity Nussbaum (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008) ISBN 9780199554157

ed. The History of British Women's Writing, 1690 - 1750: Volume Four History of British Women’s Writing  (Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) .  ISBN-10: 0230549381 ISBN-13: 978-0230549388 . Includes two essays by Ros Ballaster. ‘Introduction’ , pp. 1-19 and ‘Critical Review’,  pp. 235-251.

 ‘The Eastern Tale and the Candid Reader: Tristram Shandy, Candide, Rasselas’, in L’attrait de l’Orient/The  Call of the East, special ed. proceedings of Colloque tenu en Sorbonne – 22-23 janvier 2010 of XVII-XVIII 67 (2010), pp. 109-126. ISSN 0291-379.

Fabulous Orients: Fictions of the East in England 1662-1785 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005). 405 pages. ISBN 0-19-9267330

ed. Fables of the East: Selected Tales 1662-1785 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005). 277 pages. ISBN 0-19-926735-9.

‘Jonathan Swift, the Stella poems,’ in A Companion to Eighteenth Century Poetry, ed. Christine Gerrard (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006), pp. 170-183. ISBN 1405113162


Other Information:

Please click here for a link to the project 'Georgian Theatre and the Novel 1714-1830’.

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