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Timothy Raylor

Timothy Raylor

  • Stephen R. Lewis, Jr. Professor of English and the Liberal Arts, English


Timothy Raylor teaches courses on rhetoric and early modern literature, with particular interests in Milton and Spenser, lyric poetry and drama, book history and textual studies, and relations between literature and the visual arts, philosophy, and science.  His research explores the intellectual and social contexts of early modern literature and thought.  His publications include Philosophy, Rhetoric, and Thomas Hobbes (2018), Cavaliers, Clubs, and Literary Culture: Sir John Mennes, James Smith and the Order of the Fancy (1994), The Essex House Masque of 1621: Viscount Doncaster and the Jacobean Masque (2000), and articles on Hobbes, Milton, Marvell, and Waller. Current projects include an edition of Milton's tract Of Education, and (with Stephen Clucas) an edition of Hobbes's De corpore.

Education & Professional History

University of Newcastle upon Tyne, BA; Oxford University, DPhil.

British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Research Associate, Hartlib Papers Project, Departments of English and History, University of Sheffield, 1988-1992

At Carleton since 1992.

Highlights & Recent Activity

Recent publications:

Philosophy, Rhetoric, and Thomas Hobbes (Oxford University Press, 2018).

In progress:

Edition (with Stephen Clucas) of Hobbes's De corpore and related manuscripts (for Clarendon Edition of the Works of Thomas Hobbes).

Edition (with Michael P. Parker) of The Poems of Edmund Waller (for Oxford University Press).


Edition of John Milton, Of Education, forthcoming in vol. 9 of The Complete Works of John Milton, ed. Nigel Smith; general editors: Thomas Corns and Gordon Campbell, 11 vols.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Authored volumes:

The Essex House Masque of 1621: Viscount Doncaster and the Jacobean Masque.  Medieval and Renaissance Literary Studies.  Pittsburgh, Pa.: Duquesne University Press, 2000

Cavaliers, Clubs, and Literary Culture: Sir John Mennes, James Smith and the Order of the Fancy.  Newark, Del.: University of Delaware Press; London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1994.  (Selected as one of Choice’s “Outstanding Academic Titles of 1995.”)

Edited collections:

The Cavendish Circle.  Special issue of The Seventeenth Century, 9, 2 (1994).  Guest editor.

Samuel Hartlib and Universal Reformation: Studies in Intellectual Communication.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994; paperback edition 2002.  Co-editor (with Mark Greengrass and Michael Leslie)

Culture and Cultivation in Early Modern England: Writing and the Land. Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1992; paperback edition, 1994.  Co-editor (with Michael Leslie) and contributor 

Recent articles:

"Hobbes and the Hardwick Digests," Hobbes Studies, 31 (2018), 1-24. 

“Hobbes on the Nature and Scope of Poetry,” in The Oxford Handbook of Hobbes, ed. Kinch Hoekstra and A. P. Martinich  (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. 603-23.

“William Cavendish, Galileo, Hobbes and the Mechanical Philosophy,” in Authority, Authorship and Aristocratic Identity in Seventeenth Century England: William Cavendish, First Duke of Newcastle and his Political, Social and Cultural Connections, ed. Peter Edwards and Elspeth Graham. Rulers & Elites: Comparative Studies in Governance, 9.  (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2016), pp. 173-95

“The Hunting of the Stag: Denham, Davenant, and the a Royalist Dispute over Poetry,” in Sir John Denham (1614/15-1669) Reassessed: The State's Poet, ed. Philip Major (London and New York: Routledge, 2016), pp. 143-60.

“A Hardwick Scandal of the Early Seventeenth Century: William Cavendish, Lady Arbella Stuart, and the Case of Margaret Chatterton,” Derbyshire Archaeological Journal, 134 (2014), 204-20.

The Instability of Marvell's ‘Bermudas,’” Andrew Marvell Newsletter, 6 (2014). Web

Awards and Grants:

National Science Foundation, Scholar’s Award (SES: History and Philosophy of SET), #0526068 (9/1/05-8/31/07).  “The Natural Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes.” 

Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars, American Council of Learned Societies, 2004-5.  (“The Foundations of Hobbes’s Natural Philosophy: Texts and Contexts.”)

James M. Osborn Fellowship in English Literature and History, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, November 1999.  (For work on the poems of Edmund Waller.)

Organizations & Scholarly Affiliations

Bibliographical Society; International Society for the History of Rhetoric; Andrew Marvell Society [President 2012-14; Vice-President 2010-12; Executive Secretary 2006-10]; Modern Language Association; Milton Society of America; Renaissance English Text Society; Renaissance Society of America; Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing; Society for Court Studies; Society for Textual Scholarship

Editorial Board Member, The Seventeenth Century (2006- ); Hobbes Studies (2013- ); Marvell Studies (2016- )

Courses Taught This Year

  • ENGL 220: Arts of Oral Presentation (Spring 2020)
  • ENGL 285: Textual Technologies from Parchment to Pixel (Spring 2020)
  • ENGL 220: Arts of Oral Presentation (Spring 2020)
  • ENGL 118: Introduction to Poetry (Fall 2020)
  • ENGL 100: Rhetoric: Art of Persuasion (Fall 2020)
  • IDSC 150: Plague, War and Crisis: Reading Hobbes Reading Thucydides, Books 1-2: Plague and Democracy (Fall 2020)
  • ENGL 220: Arts of Oral Presentation (Winter 2021)
  • IDSC 151: Plague, War, Crisis: Reading Hobbes Reading Thucydides: Books 3-5 Revolt and Revolution (Winter 2021)
  • ENGL 220: Arts of Oral Presentation (Winter 2021)
  • ENGL 207: Princes. Poets. Power (Spring 2021)
  • ENGL 395: T. S. Eliot and the Metaphysical Poet (Spring 2021)
  • IDSC 152: Plague, War, Crisis: Reading Hobbes Reading Thucydides: Books 6-8 Catastrophe and Coup (Spring 2021)
  • ENGL 208: The Faerie Queene (Spring 2021)
Profile updated September 9, 2019

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