UCL English


Dr Tom Owens


Email: t.owens@ucl.ac.uk
External phone: 020 7679 3147
Internal phone: 33147
Office: Foster Court 240

Tom Owens

Education and Experience 

I took my Undergraduate MA at the University of St Andrews (2009), before doing the MSt (2010) and DPhil (2013) at St John’s College, Oxford.

From 2013-2017, I was a Junior Research Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge.

I came to UCL as a Teaching Fellow in September 2017.

From April-October 2018 I held a Postdoctoral Visiting Research Fellowship at the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study. 

Research Interests

My research interests lie predominantly in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature. My first book, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and ‘the language of the heavens’ (OUP, 2019) explores some of the exultant visions inspired by Wordsworth’s and Coleridge’s analogical imaginations. It examines the scientific patterns that the poets discovered in the world as they came to understand consciousness and cognition through highly self-conscious acts of invention, and includes chapters on: geometry and cartography, nature (representations of the Moon) and natural history (studies of spider-webs, streams, and dew), calculus and quaternions, and infra-red and ultraviolet light.   

Other recent or current work includes projects on: the integrity of prose style (in writers such as Richard Hooker, Thomas Browne, Joseph Addison, Edmund Burke, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge); Jonathan Swift and Matthew Arnold; and Gerard Manley Hopkins.


Wordsworth, Coleridge, and ‘the language of the heavens’ (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).

Book cover


18. 'Hopkins's Kestrel: Drafting "The Windhover", 1877-1884', Victorian Poetry, 57.1 (forthcoming, spring 2019).

17. ‘Coleridge and “the general taste for unconnected writing”’, The Review of English Studies, 70.293 (2019), 111-34.

16. ‘Wordsworth’s and Southey’s Translations of Michelangelo, 1805-6’, Modern Language Notes, 132.1 (2017), 68-75.

15. ‘“Sweetness and Light” from Swift to Arnold’The Review of English Studies, 68.283 (2017), 99-122. 

14. ‘Nature’s Motto: Wordsworth and the Macmillans’, Notes and Queries, 62.3 (2015), 430-35.

13. ‘Coleridge’s Parentheses and the Question of Editing’Essays in Criticism, 64.4 (2014), 373-93.

12. ‘Coleridge, Nitric Acid and the Spectre of Syphilis’Romanticism, 20.3 (2014), 282-93.

11. ‘Did the Wordsworths Own a Telescope?’, Notes and Queries, 258.2 (2013), 232-35.

10. ‘Coleridge’s Reading of Two Translations of Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning The Two Chief World Systems (1632)’, Notes and Queries, 258.2 (2013), 229-32.

9. ‘“Form One Consciousness”: Coleridge, Wordsworth, Milton and the Origins of the “Optic Tube” in Poetry’, Notes and Queries, 258.2 (2013), 227-28.

8. ‘Coleridge’s lost marginalia to Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (November 1803-May 1809)’, The Book Collector, 62.2 (2013), 241-53.

7. ‘“The Telescope of the church”: Coleridge, Astronomy, and Religion’, The Coleridge Bulletin, 39.2 (2012), 37-47.

6. ‘Coleridge’s Marginal Annotations to Robert Percival’s An Account of the Island of Ceylon... (1803)’, Notes and Queries, 59.3 (2012), 373-75.

5. ‘Astronomy at Stowey: The Wordsworths and Coleridge’, The Wordsworth Circle, 43.1 (2012), 25-29.

4. ‘Wordsworth and G.E. Papendiek (1788-1835)’, Notes and Queries, 58.4 (2011), 540-42.

3. ‘Wordsworth, William Rowan Hamilton and Science in The Prelude’, The Wordsworth Circle, 42.2 (2011), 166-70.

2. ‘A Wordsworth Manuscript and a Little-Known Literary Connection’, Notes and Queries, 58.1 (2011), 74-75.

1. ‘Wordsworth, Galignani, and the Aesthetics of Piracy’, The Library, 12.1 (2011), 23-36.


‘Mark L. Reed, A Bibliography of William Wordsworth 1787-1930, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013)’, The Book Collector, 63.4 (2014), 653-57.