School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Emeritus Professor John Batchelor

Emeritus Professor



Roles and Responsibilities

Member of the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA); formerly an editor of The Modern Language Review and The Yearbook of English Studies (both publications of the MHRA).


M.A. Ph.D. (Cantab.), M.A. (New Brunswick)



My work has been mainly in English literature since 1800. 

My books include a literary history, The Edwardian Novelists (1982), and monographs on H.G.Wells (1985) and Virginia Woolf (1991); and I was general editor for Oxford University Press of the World's Classics edition of Conrad (1980 - 2002). 

A good deal of my interest has been in biography. My first biography was of  the fantasist and illustrator Mervyn Peake (1974) and I edited a volume of essays (by a number of biographers) on The Art of Literary Biography (Oxford University Press, 1995). My more recent biographies include The Life of Joseph Conrad: A Critical Biography  (Blackwell, 1994), John Ruskin: No Wealth but Life  (Chatto & Windus, 2000) and most recently a life of Pauline, Lady Trevelyan, who created the major Pre-Raphaelite decorative scheme at Wallington in Northumberland: Lady Trevelyan and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (Chatto & Windus, 2006). 

My new biography of Tennyson, entitled  Tennyson: to strive, to seek, to find, was published by Chatto & Windus, November 1 2012 and by Pegasus, New York, 2013. It is also available as an ebook, and in paperback from Random House (Vintage, 2014) and from Pegasus (2014).

I am now working on a new biography of Rudyard Kipling, and I am contributing to the forthcoming Blackwell Companion to Literary Biography.


Esteem Indicators

Former Fellow of New College, Oxford; Joseph Cowen Professor of English Literature, Newcastle University, 1990-2007 and visiting Professor at the University of Lancaster, 2000-2007; Founding Fellow of the English Association; formerly editor of Modern Language Review and The Yearbook of English Studies, 2004-2011, and currently an executive member of the MHRA which publishes those two journals.