William Poole

William Poole

John Galsworthy Fellow and Tutor in English; Senior Tutor; Fellow Librarian
MA DPhil Oxon


    • 2004- Galsworthy Fellow in English, New College; Senior Tutor; Fellow Librarian
    • 2000-2004: Research Fellow, Downing College, Cambridge
    • 1995-2000: BA, MA, MSt, DPhil, New College and Linacre College, Oxford
    • 1989-1995: Madras College, St Andrews (state)

    For the college, at undergraduate level I teach all aspects of English literature c. 1500-c. 1830. At the graduate level, I have taught palaeography, and supervised and examined several doctorates in and beyond Oxford in both English and History. I am also the Fellow Librarian. I run the termly New College Conversations, and am one of the two college trustees for the annual college Reading Party in the Alps. I also edit the college library’s journal, New College Notes. I am a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (2015), and a Fellow (governor) of our sibling in Winchester, Winchester College (2015). I have always valued New College for its cultivation of scholarship and scepticism.


    Research Interests

    My research lies in the field of early modern studies, specifically:

    • Literary history
    • Intellectual history
    • History of science
    • Bibliography and palaeography
    • History of libraries and collections

    My specific current projects are:

    • Early European sinology, c. 1580-c. 1740
    • Oxford books and book economy from c. 1580 to c. 1700,
    • The Scottish Neo-Latin poet Peter Goldman of Dundee (1587/8-1628) and his times
    • The shelf-lists and benefactors register of Oxford’s Anatomy School Museum, c. 1630-1780
    • The early seventeenth-century Oxford academic play The Sophister/ Fallacy
    • An edition of the correspondence of experimental philosopher Robert Hooke
    • A co-edited edition of the correspondence of the antiquary John Aubrey

    Selected Publications

    I have published around a hundred articles or chapters for learned journals or collections. I am also, with James Willoughby of New College, the co-editor of the Bibliographical Society’s journal, The Library, which appears quarterly. A dozen books or editions from the last decade are:

    • John Milton, Manuscript Writings. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018 forthcoming.
    • John Fell’s New Year Books, 1666–1686. Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society, 2018.
    • John Wilkins (1614–1672): New Essays. Leiden: Brill, 2017.
    • Milton and the Making of ‘Paradise Lost’. Harvard: Harvard University Press, 2017.
    • The Letters of Shen Fuzong to Thomas Hyde, 1687-88’, electronic British Library Journal (2015), article 9.
    • Wadham College Books in the Age of John Wilkins (1614–1672). Oxford: Wadham College, 2014.
    • John Milton, Areopagitica and Other Writings. London: Penguin, 2014.
    • John Aubrey and the Advancement of Learning. Oxford: Bodleian Library, 2010.
    • The World-Makers: Scientists of the Restoration and the Search for the Origins of the Earth. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2010.
    • Francis Lodwick, Writings on Language, Theology, and Utopia, ed. Henderson and Poole. Oxford: OUP, 2010.
    • Milton and the Idea of the Fall. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005; paperback 2009.
    • Francis Godwin, The Man in the Moone (1638). Ontario: Broadview Press, 2009.
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