Faculty members researching in this area:
Oxford has been a centre for Romantic studies for many years. Numerous scholars have made distinguished contributions to the field, from the pioneering work of Matthew Arnold, Walter Pater and A. C. Bradley, to the important twentieth-century editorial projects of R. W. Chapman, Mary Lascelles, Helen Darbishire, Norma Dalrymple Champneys, Jonathan Wordsworth, Roger Lonsdale and Stephen Gill, and the critical work of H. W. Garrod, F. W. Bateson, John Bayley, David Cecil, W. Robson, A. D. Nuttall, Roy Park and Marilyn Butler. Among the Emeritus fellows, many still active in the Faculty, are Stephen Gill, Roger Lonsdale, Nicholas Shrimpton and Tom Paulin. Former members of the Faculty include Paul Hamilton, Jon Mee and Duncan Wu. Currently, the Faculty specialists in the Romantic period are Matthew Bevis, Freya Johnston, Lucy Newlyn, Seamus Perry, Fiona Stafford and Kathryn Sutherland. Several other members of the Faculty also have interests in Romantic literature: the large number of scholars and the flexibility of the English syllabus encourage dialogue between different periods and approaches. One of the Conferences being organised in Oxford in 2013, for example, focuses on the connections between Romanticism and the Fin de Siécle. Graduate Studies in the Romantic period are also flourishing, with numerous students taking the popular Master of Studies courses, and others arriving as Probationary Research students, prior to pursuing doctoral research. Recent successful doctoral theses have included studies of Austen, Byron, Wordsworth, Romantic memorialisation, the British Theatre during the Peninsular War, Coleridge, Blake, Godwin’s drama, Romantic life writing, Keats, Thomas Moore, Anglo-Welsh Literature, the Godwin-Shelley circle and Children’s Literature. The long-running, weekly, Romantic Realignments research seminar offers opportunities for graduate students and Faculty members to present their research, as well as providing a platform for visiting scholars to deliver papers and generate discussion. Romantic specialists in Oxford are part of a lively, active, mutually supportive body of research academics and graduates, who share a deep interest in Romantic literature and continue to explore new avenues of approach and ways of understanding the period. The research interests of our current faculty are wide-ranging:
Matthew Bevis has published widely on nineteenth-century literature. His book, The Art of Eloquence: Byron, Dickens, Tennyson, Joyce (OUP 2007; pbk 2010) won a Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2008. His recent articles have included work on 'Wordsworth's Folly' and 'Byron's Feet', and he gave the British Academy Chatterton lecture on 'Edward Lear's Lines of Flight' in 2012. His Comedy: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2012) is in press, and he is currently working on two projects: a book entitled Wordsworth at Play: Romantic Poetry and The Comic Turn, and The Cambridge Edition of the Novels of Thomas Love Peacock (7 vols, General co-ed. with Freya Johnston).
Nicholas Halmi’s research interests include British and Continental (particularly German and Italian) literature, philosophy, and visual arts of the 'long eighteenth century' (1660–1830), especially in their responses to modernity and accommodation of new understandings of history; aesthetics, genre theory, and literary history; textual studies and scholarly editing (e.g., as advisory editor of Oxford Scholarly Editions Online). He has recently completed The Norton Critical Edition of Wordsworth's Poetry and Prose (forthcoming 2013), a newly edited and annotated selection including the 13-book Prelude and The Ruined Cottage, which follows his edition of the Norton Coleridge. Other recent work includes articles on Byron and epic tradition; artificial and imaginary ruins; Coleridge and Spinoza; and Romanticism, History, and Form. His monograph, The Genealogy of the Symbol, 2007, re-located Romantic literary thinking within the tradition of the long eighteenth century, drawing on philosophy, theology, and anthropology, as well as literary history. He is currently working on a book on historical understanding and artistic form (in the visual arts as well as literature) in Romanticism.
Freya Johnston’s research interests include comparative literature, the novel, biography, mock-epic, prose style and practical criticism. Her interest in Johnson, which led to the publication of Samuel Johnson and the Art of Sinking 1709-1791 (2005) has informed more recent work on Johnson’s Classicism, his influence on Byron and on Austen, and a collection of essays co-edited with Lynda Mugglestone, The Arc of the Pendulum (2012). She has also published articles on biography, Burns, Austen, Byron and Shakespeare. She is currently working with Matthew Bevis as general editor of The Cambridge Edition of the Novels of Thomas Love Peacock, 7 vols. (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Lucy Newlyn’s work on the allusive nature of Romantic writing (Coleridge, Wordsworth, and the Language of Allusion, 1986; Paradise Lost and the Romantic Reader, 1993) developed into a wider study of the practices of reading and interpretation in Reading, Writing, and Romanticism: The Anxiety of Reception, 2000, which won the British Academy Rose Mary Crawshay prize. Her forthcoming book, 'All in each Other': William and Dorothy Wordsworth, which will be the first literary biography of the Wordsworths' creative collaboration, reflects both her interest in intertextuality and life-writing. She has also edited the second volume of The Prose Works of Edward Thomas: England and Wales and The Cambridge Companion to Coleridge. As a published poet, and literary editor of the Oxford Magazine, she has a serious interest in the interrelationship between creative writing and criticism, which has informed publications such as Branchlines: Edward Thomas and Contemporary Poetry (2007) and Synergies (2003).
Seamus Perry’s wide-ranging interests include Romantic, Victorian and twentieth-century poetry, as well as great critics from Arnold and Bradley to Empson and Ricks. He is a leading authority on Coleridge, as evident in Coleridge and the Uses of Division, 1999; Coleridge: Interviews and Recollections, 2000; Coleridge’s Notebooks, 2002; Coleridge on Writers and Writing, 2007; The New Lyrical Ballads. He also works on Victorian poets and his book on Alfred Tennyson, 2005, was followed by a collection of essays, co-edited with Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Tennyson among the Poets, 2009. Current projects include an edition of Matthew Arnold’s work and a critical book on Wordsworth. He is the general editor of the Twenty-First Century Oxford Authors series and editor of Essays in Criticism.
Fiona Stafford’s research interests include Romantic Poetry, Scottish and Irish poetry, contemporary poetry, literature and the visual arts, and Austen. Her first book on Macpherson’s Ossian, The Sublime Savage, 1988, led to subsequent work on the relationships between English, Scottish and Irish poetry and between Romantic writers, their predecessors and heirs, including The Last of the Race: The Growth of a Myth from Milton to Darwin, 1994; Starting Lines in Scottish, Irish, and English Poetry, From Burns to Heaney 2000; Local Attachments, 2010; and Burns and Other Poets, 2012, ed. with David Sergeant. She has also written an introduction to the Romantic period, Reading Romantic Poetry, 2012. Work on the relationship between poetry and place, developed in Local Attachments (2010), has informed recent research on Wordsworth, Crabbe, Clare, Hogg, the landscape of Ossian, pastoral, rivers and shorelines, as well as a Radio 3 series on ‘The Meaning of Trees’. She is also the author of a biography of Austen, and editor of Emma, Pride and Prejudice and a Casebook of Criticism on Emma. Her edition of Lyrical Ballads will be published in 2013.
Kathryn Sutherland’s international expertise in the field of textual criticism is represented by her authoritative print editions of Scott, Redgauntlet, 1985; The Bride of Lammermoor, 2000; Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1993; Austen, Mansfield Park, 1996; Austen-Leigh, A Memoir of Jane Austen and Other Life Writings, 2002; and the major electronic project, Jane Austen’s Literary Manuscripts. She has also written studies of the editing and textual practice, including Electronic Text, 1997; Jane Austen’s Textual Lives: From Aeschylus to Bollywood, 2005; Text Editing, Print and the Visual Word (with Marilyn Deegan), 2008; as well as critical essays on Scott, Beattie and Austen.
Matthew Bevis, Comedy: A Very Short Introduction (2012)
‘Byron’s Feet’, in Metre Matters: Verse Cultures of The Long Nineteenth Century, ed. Jason Hall (Ohio UP, 2011), 78-104
The Art of Eloquence: Byron, Dickens, Tennyson, Joyce (2007)
Nicholas Halmi, ed. The Norton Critical Edition of Wordsworth's Poetry and Prose (forthcoming 2013).
‘Byron and epic tradition’, in European Romantic Review, 21 (2010), 589-600, and F. Burwick and P. Douglass (eds.), Dante and Italy in British Romanticism (2011).
"Coleridge's Ecumenical Spinoza" in B. Lord (ed.), Spinoza beyond Philosophy (2012)
"Romanticism, the Temporalization of History, and the Historicization of Form", forthcoming in Modern Language Quarterly (2013).
Freya Johnston, Samuel Johnson: The Arc of the Pendulum, eds. Freya Johnston and Lynda Mugglestone (2012)
'Samuel Johnson's Classicism', in The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, vol. 3: 1660-1790, eds. David Hopkins and Charles Martindale (2012), pp.615-46
'"To a Mouse"': Burns, Power and Equality’, in Burns and Other Poets, eds. Fiona Stafford and David Sergeant (2011), pp.53-66
'Jane Austen's Past Lives', Cambridge Quarterly, 39 (2010), 103-21
Lucy Newlyn, ‘All in Each Other’: William and Dorothy Wordsworth (forthcoming in 2013)
ed. The Prose Works of Edward Thomas, Vol. 2. England and Wales (2011).
‘Wordsworth among the Glow-worms’, Essays in Criticism, 61 (2011), 249-74.
ed., with Guy Cuthbertson, Branch-lines: Edward Thomas and Contemporary Poetry (2007).
--- ed., The Cambridge Companion to Coleridge (2002)
Seamus Perry, ed., with Robert Douglas Fairhurst, Tennyson Among the Poets (2009)
Coleridge on Writing and Writers (2008).
--- with Robert Woof and Stephen Hebron, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: The Poem and its Illustrators (2006).
--- Alfred Tennyson (2005).
Fiona Stafford, Reading Romantic Poetry (2012)
‘The Collapse of Distance: Heaney’s Burns’, in Burns and Other Poets, eds. David Sergeant and Fiona Stafford (2011)
Local Attachments (2010)
Brief Lives: Jane Austen (2008)
Kathryn Sutherland, ed., with Marilyn Deegan, Text Editing, Print, and the Digital World (2008).
ed. with Marilyn Deegan, Transferred Illusions: Digital Technology and the Forms of Print (2008).
Jane Austen’s Textual Lives: From Aeschylus to Bollywood (2005).
ed., J. E. Austen-Leigh, A Memoir of Jane Austen, and Other Family Recollections (2002).