Professor Adam Smyth

I work on the literature and culture of England in the 16th and 17th centuries, and in particular the intersection between literary and material forms. My books include two monographs -- Autobiography in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 2010); Profit and Delight: Printed Miscellanies in England, 1640-1682 (Wayne State University Press, 2004) -- and three edited collections: A History of English Autobiography (Cambridge University Press, 2016); Book Destruction from the Medieval to the Contemporary (Palgrave 2014), edited with Gill Partington; and A Pleasing Sinne: Drink and Conviviality in Seventeenth-Century England (Boydell and Brewer, 2004). My next monograph, Material Texts in Early Modern England, will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. I also co-edited (with Juliet Fleming and William Sherman) a special edition of the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies on ‘Renaissance Collage: Towards a New History of Reading’, exploring knives, scissors and glue as tools of reading. I've written recent chapters and articles on Shakespeare and laughter; George Herbert and Little Gidding; authorship; William Strode; Ben Jonson's creative practices; early modern jokes; diaries; commonplace books; almanacs; reading practices; textual transmission; and satire. I am the co-editor of Routledge's (formerly Ashgate's) book series Material Readings in Early Modern Culture: we have published more than a dozen books in the last three years. Together with Professor Lorna Hutson, I am the co-director of the Centre for Early Modern Studies. I also enjoy discussing my work both inside and outside the academy: I write regularly for the Times Literary Supplement (for example, here) and the London Review of Books (for example, here, and on the LRB blog, here, and here), and have appeared on TV and radio in the UK and abroad (for example, here). I host a series of podcasts on work on the history of the book currently going on here at Oxford University: you can listen to this here.

Papers on English literature from 1350 to 1660; graduate teaching in early modern literature, including the history of the book 1450-1650.


  • Critical Quarterly Special Issue

  • Almanacs

  • Little Clippings: Cutting and Pasting Bibles in 1630s England

  • Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies Special Issue

  • Book Destruction from the Medieval to the Contemporary

  • More
List of site pages