Professor Seamus Perry

My interests are principally in the field of English Romantic poetry and thought, especially Coleridge and Wordsworth, and in post-Romantic English poetry, especially Tennyson, Eliot, Auden, Larkin, and their circles. An edition of the selected poetry and prose of Matthew Arnold is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. I also have an interest in the modern history of criticism, reflected in articles on A.C. Bradley, William Empson, F.W. Bateson, and M.H. Abrams, and a forthcoming edition of Empson's Some Versions of Pastoral. I am co-editor, with Christopher Ricks and Freya Johnston, of the journal Essays in Criticism: A Quarterly Journal of Literary Criticism (OUP), and the general editor of the series,21st-Century Oxford Authors (OUP). I review for theTimes Literary Supplement and the London Review of BooksI am Fellow Librarian of Balliol College, where I am also Fellow for Charity Matters. I am currently working on a biography of W.H Auden for Bloomsbury.


  • Undergraduate:  English Literature, 1660- present.
  • Graduate: English Romanticism, Victorian poetry, 20C poetry.  Doctoral topics recently and currently supervised include: Hazlitt, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, manuscript culture in early nineteenth century England.

I was born in Aldershot, a military town best known to literature through its memorialisation in poems by John Betjeman. After local state schools I came to Oxford and took my undergraduate (1989) and graduate (1995) degrees at St Catherine's College. I was Oakeshott Junior Research Fellow, Lincoln College, 1995-8; and then moved to the University of Glasgow for five years, first as Lecturer and then Reader in English Literature. I came back to Oxford as a Fellow of Balliol and a Lecturer in the English Faculty in 2003.

Fellow of the English Association, elected 2005.

Balliol College web-site

Essays in Criticism web-site



  • 77 St Marks Place

  • 77 St Marks Place

  • Coleridge's Desultoriness

  • Eliot, Blake, Unpleasantness

  • Eliot, Blake, Unpleasantness

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