David Womersley

MA Oxf, PhD Camb, FBA
Professorial Fellow and Thomas Warton Professor of English Literature


I lecture widely across the period 1509-1832: recent courses include Shakespearean Tragedy, Swift, Defoe, Four Types of Gothic, English Literature and the French Revolution, and The Dunciad and its Enemies.  I do not give undergraduate tutorials.

Biography and Research

I read English at Trinity College, Cambridge, and was a Research Fellow at Pembroke College, Cambridge.  I then taught at the University of Leeds before becoming a fellow and tutor of Jesus College, Oxford.  In 2002 I was elected to the Warton chair.  In 2009 I was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.

My doctoral research was on the historian Edward Gibbon, on whom I have published two monographs, and whose Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire I edited for Penguin.  I have also published on Burke, Johnson, and Swift.  Two recent publications are a study of Elizabethan historiography and historical drama, Divinity and State (Oxford, 2010); and an edition of Gulliver’s Travels (Cambridge, 2012).

For a full cv and list of publications together with reviews, see my profile on academia.edu.

Graduate Supervision

I am happy to consider doctoral students whose topics fall within the long eighteenth century.  Students whom I have recently supervised have worked on the English deists, economics and eighteenth-century poetry, and satire and science in the long eighteenth century.