Fiona Stafford

Fellow & Tutor in English Literature (Somerville); Professor of English Language and Literature
BA Leic, MA MPhil DPhil Oxf, FRSE
Faculty of English

In Somerville, I teach students at all levels, from Freshers encountering Victorian Literature for the first time to Finalists working on their dissertations or revising for their exams. 

For the English Faculty, I supervise MSt courses and dissertations, as well as Probationary Research students and those enrolled as doctoral students (recent D.Phil students have worked on ‘Wordsworth and Silence’, ‘Representations of Spain in British Theatre during the Peninsular War’, ‘Pope and Romantic Poetry’, ‘Godwin and Wollstonecraft’s writing for Children’, ‘Coleridge and Scepticism’, ‘How Keats read his Histories’, ‘Islam in Irish Poetry’, ‘Hogg’s Kaleidoscopic Art’, ‘Shelley and Freedom’).  I lecture on eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century literature at Oxford University, and frequently give public lectures to general audiences on a range of topics. I regularly participate in Radio programmes, and wrote and delivered three series for Radio 3’s ‘The Essay’, entitled ‘The Meaning of Trees’.  The illustrated book that grew from the series will be published in August 2016 by Yale University Press as The Long, Long Life of Trees. As a member of the Atlantic Archipelago Research Consortium (AARC), which is committed to exploring the local distinctiveness and rich cultural heritage of the coastal regions of Britain and Ireland, I frequently contribute to events devoted to these topics.   In 2015, with the poets, Andrew McNeillie and Bernard O’Donoghue, I organised the Unencompassing the Archipelago Conference at Somerville, with key note addresses from the artist, Norman Ackroyd, and the travel writer, Philip Marsden. I have also contributed to the literary magazine, Archipelago. I enjoy working with artists and art historians and recently contributed to two of Calum Colvin’s art books, Jacobites by Name and The Magic Box.  I also wrote an essay for Tate Britain’s ‘In Focus’ project on William Dyce’s well known painting, Pegwell Bay and published an essay on John Clare’s interest in colour and the visual arts.  I have longstanding interests in Ossian, Austen, Burns, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, the Shelleys, Byron, Heaney, Carson, literature of the Romantic period, the literature of place, nature writing (old and new), Scottish poetry (post 1700), dialogues between English, Irish and Scottish literature, literature and the visual arts, contemporary poetry.  Recent work includes the World’s Classic edition of Lyrical Ballads for OUP and I am currently writing volume V of The Oxford History of English Literature: The Romantic Period, 1785-1830 and a book on Austen.

  • The Long, Long Life of Trees
    (London and New Haven: Yale UP, 2016)
  • Reading Romantic Poetry
    (Oxford: Wiley/Blackwell, 2012)
  • Local Attachments: The Province of Poetry
    (Oxford: OUP, 2010) (Rose Mary Crawshay Prize, 2011)
  • Brief Lives: Jane Austen
    (London: Hesperus, 2008)
  • Brief Lives: Jane Austen (London: Hesperus, 2008) Starting Lines in Scottish, English, and Irish Poetry: From Burns to Heaney
    (Oxford: OUP, 2000)
  • The Last of the Race: The Growth of a Myth from Milton to Darwin
    (Oxford: OUP, 1994)
  • The Sublime Savage: James Macperson and The Poems of Ossian
    (EUP, 1988)
  • Wordsworth and Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads, ed. F. Stafford, Oxford World’s Classic
    (Oxford, 2013)
  • Burns and Other Poets, ed. D. Sergeant and F. Stafford
    (Edinburgh: EUP, 2012)
  • Jane Austen's Emma: A Casebook of Criticism
    (New York: OUP, 2007)
  • From Gaelic to Romantic: Ossianic Translations, ed. F. Stafford and H. Gaskill
    (Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi, 1998)
  • Lodore, ed. F. Stafford, The Novels and Selected Works of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, ed. Nora Crook with Pamela Clemit, vol 6
    (London: Pickering and Chatto, 1996).

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