UCL English


Professor Paul Davis

Email: paul.davis@ucl.ac.uk
External phone: 020 7679 3125
Internal phone: 33125
Office: Foster Court 203


Paul Davis

Education and Experience

Paul Davis took his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Trinity College, Cambridge. After a Junior Research Fellowship at Magdalene College, Cambridge, he joined the English department at UCL in 1997, becoming a Reader in 2009 and a Professor in 2018. He is the convenor of the ‘Seventeenth Century’ course and teaches widely across the department's undergraduate provision, covering literature in English between 1520 and 1830. He has played a leading role in developing collaborative links between the English department and the department of Greek and Latin, through the formation of the joint honours degree in 'English with Classics' and the creation of a new module in 'Classical Poetry and its Reception in English Literature', available to both English and Classics students and co-taught by staff from the two departments. He has supervised PhDs on a range of topics including 'Ideas of Warfare in Royalist Poetry, 1632-49', 'The Politics of Drama, 1688-1702', 'Houses and Homes in Milton', 'Eighteenth-Century Editions of Spenser', 'The Reception of Greek Tragedy in England, 1660-1760', 'Ovid's Ars Amatoria in England, 1600-1750', 'The Eighteenth-Century Reception of Milton's Poems (1645)', and 'Women Poets and the Classics, 1700-1750'. Outside UCL, Paul has served as External Examiner in the BA and MA programmes in Comparative Literature at King's College London (2011-14) and on the MSt courses in 'English (1550-1700)' and 'English (1700-1830)' at Oxford (2015-18), and examined doctoral theses in the UK, France and Switzerland.

Research Interests

Paul's research interests are spread across five main fields: (1) poetry between the accession of Charles I and the French Revolution; (2) Restoration literature and culture; (3) classicism in England from the Civil War to the nineteenth century, especially poetic translation and imitation; (4) manuscript verse culture in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, especially in and around the court; and (5) textual editing. For the past several years his main research activity has been as leader of two major collaborative projects concerning Joseph Addison. The first of these, Joseph Addison: Tercentenary Essays, with contributions by scholars from the UK, the US, Canada and France, was published by Oxford University Press in 2021. The second is a scholarly edition of Addison's Non-Periodical Works (none of which have ever been edited before), in four volumes, also to be published by Oxford University Press; Paul is the general editor, as well as volume editor for the Poems and Translations, with the Miscellaneous Prose being edited by Henry Power (Exeter) and the Dramatic Works by David Francis Taylor (Oxford). All the volumes will go into press together in 2023. As that edition nears completion, Paul has begun work on a second editorial venture, as one of the co-editors of the volume containing The Temple in the Oxford University Press edition of The Complete Works of George Herbert, under the general editorship of Robert Whalen (Northern Michigan University) and Chris Hodgkins (University of North Carolina at Greensboro). He has also started on his next book, a study of the obsolescence of court poetry under the later Stuarts, prospectively entitled The Twilight of the Courtiers. Smaller-scale pieces in progress include an essay asking 'When did the Restoration End?' in The Oxford Handbook of the Restoration, a co-authored chapter (with Robert Whalen) on the manuscripts of The Temple for The Oxford Handbook of George Herbert, and an article reconstructing the biography and fugitive verse canon of the scandalous poet-turned-MP John Grubham—aka 'Libelling Jack'—Howe (1657-1722).



Translation and the Poet’s Life: The Ethics of Translating in English Culture, 1646-1726 (Oxford University Press, 2008), xi+324pp

Rochester: Selected Poems (Oxford University Press, 2013), lvi+ 136pp

Joseph Addison: Tercentenary Essays (Oxford University Press, 2021), xi+418pp

(as general editor) The Non-Periodical Works of Joseph Addison, 4 vols, forthcoming (Oxford University Press)

(as editor) The Poems and Translations of Joseph Addison, forthcoming (Oxford University Press)

(as co-editor, with Robert Whalen and Chris Hodgkins), The Complete Works of George Herbert, vol. III: The Temple, forthcoming (Oxford University Press)


'When did the Restoration End?', forthcoming in Matthew Augustine and Steven N. Zwicker (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the Restoration (2023/4)

'A New Latin Poem by Joseph Addison', forthcoming, The Review of English Studies (2023)

'Addison's Classical Criticism and the Origins of Eighteenth-Century Aesthetics', forthcoming, English Literary History (2023)

'Introduction', in Joseph Addison: Tercentenary Essays, ed. Paul Davis (Oxford University Press, 2021), 1-17

'Was Addison a Poet?', in Joseph Addison: Tercentenary Essays, ed. Paul Davis (Oxford University Press, 2021), 61-79

'"Misguided by the tuneful throng": Addison at the Rubicon', in Claire Boulard-Jouslin and Klaus-Dieter Ertler (eds), Addison et L'Europe (Peter Lang, 2020), 79-91

'Marvell and Manuscript Culture', in Martin Dzelzainis and Edward Holberton (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Andrew Marvell (Oxford University Press, 2019), 206-22

'Recovering a Restoration Scribal Poet: The Life and Work of Robert Wolseley, with Notes on his Association with the Earl of Rochester', Huntington Library Quarterly 79 (2016), 677-704

'Joseph Addison's Forgotten Poetic Response to Paradise Lost: "Milton's Stile Imitated, in a Translation of a Story out of the Third Aeneid" (1704): an Edited Text, with Annotation and Commentary', Milton Quarterly 49 (2015), 243-74

'George Harbin and the Malet Family Manuscript of Rochester', Philological Quarterly 94 (2015), 95-120

'From Script to Print: Marketing Rochester', in Matthew C. Augustine and Steven N. Zwicker (eds), Lord Rochester in the Restoration World (Cambridge University Press, 2015), 40-57

'Maximum Parsimony' (review essay on The Complete Poetry of Robert Herrick, 2 vols (Oxford University Press), ed. Tom Cain and Ruth Connolly), TLS (16 January 2015), 3-5

'Popery and Publishing in the Restoration Crisis: A Whig Gentry Family's Credit Account with their London Bookseller, 1680-1683', The Library: Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, 7th series, 15 (2014), 261-91

'A Lucan Translation Controversy on the Eve of the Glorious Revolution', The Review of English Studies 65 (2014), 673-93

'An Unrecorded Collection of Restoration Scribal Verse, Including Three New Rochester Manuscripts', Discovering, Identifying and Editing Early Modern Manuscripts: English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700, 18 (2013), 139-72

'Soft Refuge: The Earl of Rochester and "Country Matters"', TLS ('Commentary', 1 March 2013), 14-15