Romantic and post-Romantic poetry; questions of style; inexpressibility; negativity; repetition; rhyme; allusion; revision. Broader interests include the history of close reading in theory and in practice; the relationship between eighteenth-century verse and Romanticism; the legacies of seventeenth-century poetry; letters by poets; the language of nature poetry; and certain deconstructive readings of verse.
I am writing a book on Wordsworth’s poetry—which I’m calling Wordsworth and the Artistry of Imperfection—that celebrates those stylistic ‘irregularities and deficiencies which are not only signs of life, but sources of beauty’ (to borrow words from John Ruskin). I am also editor (with Will Bowers, QMUL, and Andrew Hodgson, Birmingham) of a new three-volume edition of The Letters of Percy Bysshe Shelley, under contract with Oxford University Press, which will present all 741 of Shelley’s known letters freshly transcribed and edited from manuscript.
In the past I have taught literature from 1660 to the present day at Oxford. At LMH I teach FHS 4 (1660–1760), FHS 5 (1760–1830), Prelims 1b, and the CLENG Epic paper. For the Faculty I give lectures on eighteenth-century and Romantic poetry and teach an MSt course on the English and American ode.