School of English and Drama

Dr Peter Auger


British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow



After studying for four years at Cambridge, I wrote my doctoral thesis in Oxford on early modern English and Scottish responses to the poetry of Guillaume de Saluste Du Bartas (1544-90). I joined Exeter College, Oxford, in 2012 as Lecturer in English, and taught full-time there for four terms. I came to Queen Mary in 2014 as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow to work on a project called ‘British Milieux for French Poetry, 1572-1625’. I hold a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award (2015-17) for the Early Modern Boundaries Project: see for more.


At Oxford I taught courses in English literature from 1509 to 1830, including Shakespeare. I have also written a dictionary of literary terms for university and school students, taught in London state schools with The Brilliant Club, and spoken at university outreach events across the country.

Undergraduate Teaching

At Queen Mary, I have taught on:

  • ESH110: Literatures in Time
  • ESH267: Renaissance Literary Culture


Research Interests:

  • Renaissance and comparative literature, especially poetry
  • Relations between English, Scottish and French literature
  • Literary translation and imitation, and reading practices
  • Religious Writing
  • Manuscript and textual studies

Recent and On-Going Research

I work on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English and related literature. My core interests are the connections between early modern English, Scottish and French poetry, and how social and cultural identity affects reading, translation, imitation and other creative processes.

Using my doctoral thesis (available here) as notes, I have written a monograph that tells the story of Du Bartas’ literary reception from James VI, Philip Sidney and Edmund Spenser through to Anne Bradstreet, John Milton and Lucy Hutchinson, with many other male and female poets in between. Among numerous pieces on related topics, a highlight is an article on the discovery of a manuscript text of Du Bartas' 'Les Peres' that is eight hundred lines longer than any known printed version.

My research at Queen Mary seeks to recover the diverse circumstances in which early modern English and Scottish readers encountered French verse. It assesses the range, character and importance of cross-channel poetic exchanges in the late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth centuries in order to deepen our understanding of how local and transnational contexts shaped the composition of poetry in English at this time. Two initial case studies have become articles: one on a forgotten sixteenth-century manuscript textbook for teaching French, and another (forthcoming) on why a French lyric was painted into the earliest extant American self-portrait.


For a fuller list, see my research publications or profile:

  • ‘Fashioned by Use: Jacques Bellot’s Rules and its Successors’, History of European Ideas (2016). Published online May 2016. doi: 10.1080/01916599.2016.1159880
  • ‘Le Manuscrit Royal de la Suite de la Seconde Semaine de Du Bartas’, Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance 78 (2016), 127-43 [link]
  • ‘Printed Marginalia, Extractive Reading and Josuah Sylvester’s Devine Weekes (1605)’, Modern Philology 113 (2015), 66-87 [link]
  • ‘A Model of Creation?: Sidney, Scott and Du Bartas’, Sidney Journal 33 (2015), 69-90 [link]
  • ‘Presbyterian Imitation Practices in Zachary Boyd’s Nebuchadnezzars Fierie Furnace’, The Seventeenth Century 28 (2013), 207-19. doi: 10.1080/0268117X.2013.792157
  • ‘Du Bartas’ Visit to England and Scotland in 1587’, Notes and Queries 59 (2012), 505-8. doi: 10.1093/notesj/gjs139
  • ‘The Semaines’ Dissemination in England and Scotland until 1641’, Renaissance Studies 26 (2012), 625-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1477-4658.2011.00760.x
  • The Anthem Dictionary of Literary Terms and Theory (London and New York: Anthem Press, 2010).