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School of English and Drama

Dr Will Bowers, BA (UCL), MSt (Oxford), PhD (UCL), MA (Oxford)


Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Thought

Room Number: ArtsOne 3.03
Twitter: @LimeTreeBowers


I was born and raised in Newcastle upon Tyne, which I left to read for a BA in English at UCL in 2006. I then had a year in Oxford for a masters, before I returned to UCL in 2010 to write a doctoral thesis on Anglo-Italian Romantic poetry with John Mullan. Before submitting my thesis, I spent a miserable but productive six months as a Yale/UCL visiting scholar at Yale University.  I worked at Newcastle University after my doctorate, and then moved to Oxford as a Junior Research Fellow at Merton College, and as a lecturer at New College and Oriel. I joined Queen Mary in 2019.


I was taught by generalists to be a generalist, and I believe in teaching a diverse range of forms, texts, and contexts, across periods. I keep Byron’s warning on ‘the drilled dull lesson, forced down word by word’ at the front of my mind, and heed it by trying to read and teach some new primary texts every year.


Research Interests:

  • Eighteenth-century and Romantic Poetry.
  • Literary and cultural exchange between England and Italy.
  • Coteries, salons, and sociability in the long-eighteenth century.
  • Scholarly editions and their digital future.
  • The blank verse tradition (Milton, Thomson, Akenside, Cowper, Wordsworth, Barrett Browning).

Recent and On-Going Research

I try to maintain interests in literature from the Early Modern to the early Victorian period (the very long eighteenth century)I co-edited Re-evaluating the Literary Coterie, 1550–1830 (2016) to examine the centrality of sociability to literary production, and my current research continues this focus by looking at a specific community—the Holland House circle between 1790 and 1840—and a wider consideration of the importance of dining to the literature of the long eighteenth-century. My research on Holland House will result in a monograph, which I hope to submit in 2022, and a more diffuse digital project attempting to chronicle eighteenth-century dining culture.

I’ve published widely on Romantic and Eighteenth-century literature (especially poetry) and my first monograph, The Italian Idea: Radical Anglo-Italian Literary Culture, was published in 2020 in the 'Studies in Romanticism' series of Cambridge University Press. I have a forthcoming article on Wordsworth and Charles James Fox in the Review of English Studies, and forthcoming essays on Byron’s cosmopolitanism, ‘Table talk’, and on the editorial history of Goldsmith’s poetryI am an editor on the Longman Annotated Poems of Shelley, on which I am responsible for 'The Triumph of Life' and a number of smaller lyrics (due to be delivered in January 2022). My involvement in this edition has led me to explore the viability of a new edition of Shelley’s letters. 

I enjoy reviewing and publish a couple of reviews a year for scholarly journals and the Times Literary Supplement.



The Italian Idea: Anglo-Italian Radical Literary Culture, 1815–1823 (Cambridge University Press, 2020)

Edited Books

Ed. (with Hannah Leah Crummé), Re-evaluating the Literary Coterie, 1550–1830 (London: Palgrave, 2016)

Essays, Articles, and Chapters

'Vallombrosa Visited, 1638–1851,' Modern Philology 118 (2021), 364–389

'Beppo e la reinvenzione della satira,' Byron in Italia (Bologna: Minerva, 2020), 77–97

'Shelley reads Schlegel,' L’Analisi Linguistica e Letteraria 27 (2019), 35–44

'Byron’s Rhyming Clime,' Essays in Criticism 69, (2019), 157–177

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Oxford Bibliographies in British and Irish Literature, ed. Andrew Hadfield (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018)

'On first looking into Mary Shelley’s Homer,' Review of English Studies 69 (2018), 510–531

'Percy Bysshe Shelley’s "I visit thee but thou art sadly changed",' Notes and Queries, 64 (2017), 569–572

‘The Many Rooms of Holland House’, Re-evaluating the Literary Coterie, 1550–1830 (London: Palgrave, 2016), 159–180

'Italian Travel, English Tourism, and Byron’s Poetry of Exile,' Litteraria Pragensia 23:46 (2013), 86–102

'Hunt, Byron, and The Story of Rimini – "A Literary Challenge to the Public Mind,"' Romanticism on the Net 59 (2011).

'The Dilemma of a "Romantic" Anthology: Periodization and The Oxford Book of Regency Verse,' Publishing History 67, 2011, 65–89.