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University of Oxford Faculty of English

18th Century

Faculty members researching in this area:

Permanent Postholders: Ros Ballaster, Christine Gerrard, Freya Johnston, Abigail Williams, and David Womersley

Research and college staff: Giles Bergel, Beatrice Groves, Jenny McAuley, Ben Morgan, Lynn Robson and Pamela Clemit.

Our research:

The research culture in eighteenth-century studies is strong across the board, with particular expertise in the fields of scholarly editing, poetry, intellectual history, women’s writing, and the relationship between literature and politics. It is also characterised by collaboration, both with other Faculties within Oxford (the English Faculty has a representative on the Steering Committee of the Besterman Centre, the interdisciplinary focus of eighteenth-century work in Oxford), and with other universities both in this country and abroad.

The research seminar devoted to the period, ‘Restoration to Reform’, meets fortnightly during term. It allows graduate students to hear an array of the most active researchers in the field from Oxford and beyond, while at the same time giving them the opportunity at an early stage of their research to present papers to a well-informed but supportive audience.

Recent publications:

This section only includes publications on the 18th Century although there are other Faculty members listed in the field whose publications are listed under Early Modern or Romantic period specialisms elsewhere.

Ros Ballaster, Fabulous Orients: Fictions of the East in England 1662-1785 (Oxford University Press, 2005).

Christine Gerrard, Aaron Hill: The Muses' Projector, 1685-1750 (Oxford University Press, 2003)

Christine Gerrard, A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Poetry (Blackwell, 2006)

Freya Johnston, Samuel Johnson and the Art of Sinking, 1709-1791 (Oxford University Press, 2005)

Abigail Williams, Poetry and the Creation of a Whig Literary Culture: 1680-1714 (Oxford University Press, 2005).

David Womersley, Gibbon and ‘the Watchmen of the Holy City’: The Historian and his Reputation, 1776-1815 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002).

David Womersley ed., James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson (Penguin, 2008).

Other information:

Besterman Centre for the Enlightenment

'Restoration to Reform' seminar series blog.