Rowena Fowler

Welcome to my homepage

JW Waterhouse, Apollo and Daphne image courtesy of

Having retired from the Department of English at the University of Bristol I am an independent scholar based in Oxford and London.   To contact me, please email rowena.fowler AT  

Click on the title for abstracts of two of my articles:


"'Purple Shining Lilies':  Imagining the Aeneid in Contemporary Poetry", in Living Classics: Greece and Rome in Contemporary Poetry in English, edited by S. J. Harrison (Oxford University Press, 2009).

"This Tart Fable: Daphne and Apollo in Modern Women's Poetry", in Laughing With Medusa: Classical Myth and Feminist Thought, edited by Miriam Lawrence and Vanda Zajko (Oxford University Press, 2006).

Research interests. . .

1. The reception of classical antiquity in English and Modern Greek literature.  Topics include Virginia Woolf's Greece, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Homer, Joyce's Ulysses in Modern Greek. 

2. Victorian poetry: I have edited Edward Lear and Robert Browning and written several articles on Browning.

3.  Other research interests: critical and metrical theory, women and writing (including Alice Munro, Elizabeth Gaskell and Virginia Woolf), and the history and literary uses of the English dictionary.   For the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography I wrote entries for Mary Newton, the painter, and Lucy Garnett, the traveller and ethnographer.

Current research. . .

A chapter on Robert Browning for The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature Vol 4 (1780–1880), edited by Jennifer Wallace and Norman Vance.

Lectures and papers. . .

"Seferis and Heaney in the Underworld" at the Modern Greek Graduate Seminar, Cambridge University, March 2010.

"Virginia Woolf's Greek Choruses" in the seminar series Modern Receptions of Ancient Greek and Roman Cultures, Oxford University, October 2006.

"Text and Meaning in Charles Richardson's New Dictionary of the English Language" at the International Conference on Historical Lexicography and Lexicology, University of Leicester, July 2002.     A revised version is published in Historical Dictionaries and Historical Dictionary Research, edited by Julie Coleman and Anne McDermott (Niemeyer, 2004).

"Robert Browning as Editor: The Posthumous Publication of Elizabeth Barrett Browning" at the conference The Future of Victorian Poetry, University of Western Ontario, March 2003. 

"Women Writers and Readers in the Oxford English Dictionary" at the British Women Writers Conference, University of Wisconsin-Madison, April 2002.

"Putting Living People into Books: Woolf's Reception in the Oxford English Dictionary" at The Eleventh Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf, University of Wales, June 2001.

 "Statistical Subjects? The Individual, the City, and the Literary Text" at the conference Monuments and Dust, Institute of Historical Research, July 2001.

"Browning, Blougram, and the Probability of God" at the Golden Jubilee conference of the Armstrong Browning Library, Baylor University, October 2001.

 At the 2000 MLA Convention I organised a special session on The Literary Uses of Dictionaries.

Teaching interests. . .

Victorian and twentieth-century poetry and fiction.   See, for example, Contemporary Women's Fiction.


Maintained by: Rowena Fowler (rowena.fowler AT

Last updated: 7 August 2010

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