Our strengths lie in the fields of scholarly editing, poetry, intellectual history, women’s writing, and the relationship between literature and politics.
The English faculty is one of the few in the United Kingdom with a distinguished and robust history of research and teaching in eighteenth-century studies.
From Rachel Trickett’s The Honest Muse to Roger Lonsdale’s pioneering editing and Marilyn Butler’s ambitious myth-mapping to the current work of Gerrard, Johnston, Williams and Womersley, we have promoted sustained interest in the dynamism and diversity of eighteenth-century poetry.
Our research now also embraces
- Studies in theatre (Ballaster) and the novel (Johnston, Ballaster)
- New directions in material culture (Williams) and cognitive studies (Ballaster)
- History of the book, bibliography, and digital humanities (Sutherland, Williams)
Selected publications by Faculty members
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).
Besterman Centre for the Enlightenment
Romanticism and Eighteenth-Century Studies Oxford