School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr Joseph Hone

Academic Track Fellow in English Literature



I am an Academic Track (NUAcT) Fellow in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at Newcastle University. Specialising in the political writing of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, I received my doctorate from the University of Oxford in 2015, following which I was appointed to the Lumley Fellowship in the Humanities at Magdalene College, Cambridge. Since 2014 I have held visiting fellowships at Harvard, Yale, and at the Institute of English Studies in London. My first book, Literature and Party Politics at the Accession of Queen Anne (2017), was shortlisted for the 2019 University English Book Prize. My second book, The Paper Chase (2020), investigates a three-hundred year old mystery involving an anonymous sectarian pamphlet, a masked woman, a down-on-his-luck printer, and a plot to overthrow the government. My third book, Alexander Pope in the Making, was published by Oxford University Press in 2021.

My research focuses on the communication of political ideas during the period known at the 'Enlightenment', although I also have longstanding interests in poetry, intellectual history, book history, and bibliography from the early modern period up to the present day. Methodologically, I am committed to the sort of archival scholarship that straddles the traditional disciplinary border between literary studies and history. In particular, I have become interested in the clandestine trade in secret and illicit books during this eighteenth century, a period which is conventionally associated with the opening up of political debate and the rise of a public sphere. These themes have been partially addressed in all my books. A more ambitious attempt to grapple with those questions forms the core of my current scholarly project, a monograph entitled Secret Print in Enlightenment England. My next project, arising from my work on the underground press, is a study of book forgery from the early modern period to the present day.

I enjoy communicating my research beyond the academy. In previous roles I have organised workshops with the Historical Association, the Bodleian Libraries, and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Recently I have been interviewed and consulted on programmes for the BBC and Sky Arts. 


MA (Oxon); MA (Exon); DPhil (Oxon)

Previous Positions

Lumley Fellow in the Humanities, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge; Impact Manager, University of Exeter; Retained Lecturer in English Literature, Jesus College, University of Oxford

Visiting Positions

Visiting Research Fellow, Institute of English Studies, University of London; James M. Osborn Fellow in English Literature and History, Beinecke Library, Yale University; Katharine F. Pantzer Jr. Fellow in Descriptive Bibliography, Houghton Library, Harvard University


Current Research

I am currently engaged in three major projects. (1) An iconoclastic study of clandestine printing and the underground book trade that will challenge our current understanding of eighteenth-century politics and culture. (2) A scholarly edition of Pope's early poems for volumes one and two of The Oxford Edition of the Writings of Alexander Pope, and a monograph drawing on this research, Alexander Pope in the Making. (3) An edited collection of essays on Jonathan Swift in Context, for Cambridge University Press. Future projects include a history of book forgery from the early modern period to the present day.

Postgraduate Supervision

My own work straddles literary studies, political thought, bibliography, and intellectual history, so I particularly welcome applications from postgraduate research students who wish to explore areas across those disciplines. My research on Pope, Swift, and literary culture during the Stuart and Hanoverian periods means I am also interested in supervising topics that bridge the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.



SEL2202: Writing New Worlds, 1660-1800