Professor Ralph Pite
Professor of English Literature
Phone: 0117 331 8261
Fax: 0117 331 7933
My research focuses on: the Romantic period (particularly on the impact of Dante’s writing at the time and on the lives and self-fashioning of Romantic poets); Victorian literature (especially the works and life of Thomas Hardy, ideas of place in the period, life-writing, and more on Dante and other Italian literature’s presence in English culture); and post-war British poetry. (I co-edit a series, Poetry &…, developing new approaches to post-war poetry in Britain and America.)
My present research brings these three areas together by addressing questions of writing and the environment, particularly with reference to the first world war poet Edward Thomas, to Charlotte Mew, to ideas of ‘the Simple Life’ and to the new landscapes of an endangered world (as described in the contemporary poetry of Jorie Graham for instance, and in nature writing too).
I would be most interested to supervise research in any of these areas and I would welcome potential proposals for the Poetry & … series.
Romantic and Victorian Literature
- The Circle of Our Vision: Dante’s Presence in English Romantic Poetry (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), xv + 267.
- Lives of the Great Romantics: Coleridge, edited by Ralph Pite (London: Pickering and Chatto, 1997), xxxviii + 396.
- ‘Coleridge at Work’, Essays in Criticism, 53:4 (October 2003), 392-400, review of The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, vol. 16: Poetical Works, edited J. C. C. Mays, 3 vols (Princeton University Press, 2001).
- Dante, The Divine Comedy: The Vision of Dante, translated by Henry Cary, edited by Ralph Pite (London and Vermont: Everyman paperbacks, 1994), reprinted 1997, 1998, 2000, xxxii + 448.
- ‘Nineteenth-Century English Translations of Italian Literature’, Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, vol. 4: 1790-1900, eds. Peter France and Kenneth Haynes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).
- ‘“The perilous depth of doubt”: Dante, Plumptre and Victorian faith’ in Dante’s Modern Afterlife, edited by Nick Havely (Basingstoke and London: Macmillan, 1998), 90-110.
- ‘Dante: Some Ways of Starting’, The Reader, 7 (February / March 2000); republished on The Reader Website (‘The Reader Revisited’) in June 2004.
- ‘Keats’s Last Works and His Posthumous Existence’, Victorian Keats and Romantic Carlyle: The Fusions and Confusions of Literary Periods, edited C.C. Barfoot (Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi, 1999), 63-78.
- ‘Shelley in Italy’, The Yearbook of English Studies, 34 (2004), 46-60.
- The Watching Narrator in Isabella’, Essays in Criticism, 40 (1990), 287-302.
- ‘The Cap and Bells: Satire, Irony and Parody’, Romanticism, 2.1 (March 1996), 68-80.
- ‘Place, Identity and Born in Exile’, Rereading Victorian Fiction, edited Alice Jenkins and Juliet John (Basingstoke and London: Macmillan, 2000), 129-44.
- I am general editor of Pickering & Chatto’s series, Lives of Victorian Literary Figures (London, 2003—).
- Thomas Hardy: The Guarded Life (London: Picador, 2006 and New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007).
- Hardy’s Geography: Wessex and the Regional Novel (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave, 2002).
- ‘Graver things, braver things: Hardy’s Martial Zest’, The Oxford Handbook of Twentieth-Century British and Irish War Poetry, ed. Tim Kendall (8000 words) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).
- ‘Hardy and Biography’, Palgrave Guide to Thomas Hardy, edited Phillip Mallett (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave, 2004), 75-89.
- ‘Recent Hardy Criticism: Review-Essay’, Blackwell’s Literature Compass: The Victorians (2006).
- W. S. Graham: Speaking Towards You, edited by Ralph Pite and Hester Jones (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2004).
- ‘“Coming into their own”: John Cowper Powys and Roy Fisher’, The Thing About Roy Fisher, edited John Kerrigan and Peter Robinson (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2000), 231-56.
- ‘Avenues / Returns: Peter Robinson and Liverpool, Companion to Peter Robinson, ed. Adam Piette (4000 words), (Salt Publishing, 2007).
- With Deryn Rees-Jones, I am series co-editor of Poetry & (Liverpool University Press, 2007-) a series of monographs on contemporary poetry. The first volumes (by Stan Smith and David Arnold) appeared in 2007; further volumes are forthcoming.
Writing and the Environment
- ‘Wordsworth and the Natural World’, The Cambridge Companion to Wordsworth, edited Stephen Gill (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 180-95.
- ‘“Founded on the Affections”: A Romantic Ecology’, The Environmental Tradition in English Literature, edited John Padham (Aldershot and Burlington: Ashgate, 2002), 144-55.
- How Green Were the Romantics?’, Studies in Romanticism, 35: 3 (Fall 1996), 357-73.
- ‘Hardy and Landscape’, The Reader, 20 (Winter 2005).
- Paths and Ladders (London: The Brodie Press, 2003).
- Tricycle: Poems by Bennett Huffman, Ralph Pite, John Bleasdale (Liverpool: Canning Press, 1998).
- Also poetry in the following magazines: The Rialto, English, The Reader, Harry’s Hand and in connection with Liverpool University Centre for Poetry & Science (LUPAS), see: (www.poetryandscience.co.uk/diaries.php).
At undergraduate level I teach special subject units on Keats and on Place in Victorian and Recent Fiction; and the core units Approaches to Poetry, Literature 3 (1700-1830), and Literature 4 (1830-1945).
I contribute to the Romanticism pathway of the MA (on Coleridge, Romanticism and Ecology, Romanticism and Europe) and to the Modern Poetry pathway.