Professor Colin Burrow FBA
Early Modern English Literature; relationships with classical literature, theory and practice of literary imitation, textual editing, literary history, Wyatt, Spenser, Shakespeare, Jonson and Milton.
- Fellow type
- UK Fellow
- Year elected
Colin Burrow is a Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Oxford. He is one of the editors of Review of English Studies, and is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books on topics ranging from antiquity to contemporary poetry. His principal area of research is the relationship between classical literature and English literature in the early modern period. He has edited the complete poems and Sonnets of Shakespeare and the complete poems of Ben Jonson. His most recent monograph, Imitating Authors: Plato to Futurity, examines what it is for one author to imitate another, both in theory and in practice, from antiquity to the age of bot-poetry and beyond. He is working on the Elizabethan volume of the Oxford English Literary History.
Senior Research Fellow, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, All Souls College, Oxford
Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge Emeritus Fellow
University of Cambridge Reader in Renaissance and Comparative Literature
2003 - 2006
University of Cambridge Assistant Lecturer in English; Lecturer; Senior Lecturer
1989 - 2006
Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge Fellow
1987 - 2006
On Paradise Lost
Dark Arcadias: the Fiction of Diana Wynne Jones
Fiction and the Age of Lies
Imitating Authors: Plato to Futurity
Colin Burrow - Published in 2019 by Oxford University Press
All authors learn from other authors. Some steal, some borrow. This study explores the theory and practice of imitatio from classical antiquity to the age of artificial intelligence. There are chapters on classical theory and practice, on Petrarch, Ben Jonson and on Milton, as well as sections on cloning and artificial humans in the work of Mary Shelley and beyond. Rather than limiting the practice of imitation to the classical tradition, the book argues that it remains fundamental to the ways in which poets learn practices from their predecessors, and to the way we think about literary relationships in the present.
Shakespeare and Classical Antiquity
Colin Burrow - Published in 2013 by Oxford University Press
Ben Jonson famously complained of Shakespeare's 'Small Latin and less Greek'. This book shows how big 'small' can be by exploring the depth and complexity of Shakespeare's engagement with classical writers, including Ovid, Virgil, Roman comedy and tragedy, as well as Plutarch. The book also shows how Shakespeare's engagement with classical antiquity changed in response to contemporary events and to contemporary authors, including Ben Jonson.
Epic Romance: Homer to Milton
Colin Burrow - Published in 1993 by Oxford University Press
This study in the reception history of epic poetry shows how 'romance' forms lay buried within interpretations of classical epic, and how they emerge transformed in the work of Spenser, Milton and the dozens of translators and imitators of classical epic on which they drew.
Professor Ingrid De Smet FBA
Renaissance and Early Modern intellectual culture, especially in France and the Low Countries; sixteenth and early-seventeenth century French literature; Neo-Latin Studies; the Republic of Letters; the Classical tradition