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.

Elected 2020

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.

Current post

Senior Research Fellow, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, All Souls College, Oxford

Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge Emeritus Fellow

Past appointments

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

Top picks

On Paradise Lost


Milton's epic was first published 350 years ago. For Oxford academic Colin Burrow, it remains the best poem in English.

Dark Arcadias: the Fiction of Diana Wynne Jones


In the first of five essays about the history of an idea, the literary critic Colin Burrow explores fantasies in the children's stories of his late mother Dianna Wynne Jones.

Fiction and the Age of Lies


Colin Burrow delivers the first of the LRB's 2020 Winter Lectures, from the British Museum. This lecture will aim to tell some (though not all) of the truth about the relationship between lies and fiction from Homer to Ian McEwan.


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