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Professor Paul Botley

Picture of Paul Botley


Email: paul dot botley at warwick dot ac dot uk

Humanities Building, University Road, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL


I am Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature. I teach in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies and in the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance. I studied at Reading (BA), York (MA) and Cambridge (PhD), and I've held research fellowships at Cambridge University Library, at the University of Bristol, and at Imperial College, London. I was a research fellow at the Warburg Institute, London, for seven years before joining the department at Warwick.

Research interests

My research interests include the classical tradition in early modern literature; renaissance letters; neo-Latin literature; Erasmus; the history of the Bible; education in the renaissance; translation; the Greek diaspora in renaissance Europe; editorial method; and the history of scholarship. My earliest work, and my first two books, focussed on Byzantine and Italian literature of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. My current research centres on the northern European renaissance of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In 2012 I published with Dirk van Miert an edition of the letters of the renaissance polymath Joseph Scaliger (d. 1609) in eight volumes. More recently, I've published a book on one of the translators of the King James Bible, Richard ‘Dutch’ Thomson (d. 1613).

Casaubon portrait

My research on the letters of the great renaissance scholar Isaac Casaubon (1559-1614) has been funded by the Leverhulme Trust. This project prepared a critical edition of Isaac Casaubon’s correspondence during his last years in England, 1610-1614, when he was at the height of his powers and his international fame. The edition contains over seven hundred letters, nearly half of which are printed here for the first time. This edition has now been published in four volumes in Geneva, and work is underway on an edition of Casaubon's correspondence from his earliest years, while he taught at Geneva and Montpellier in the late sixteenth century.

Alongside my work on Casaubon's letters, I'm assembling unpublished manuscript material relating to the life and work of the German scholar Johannes Woverius of Hamburg (Wouwer, 1574-1612). Woverius' work included his treatise De polymathia (1603), an incomplete, flawed and possibly plagiarised study of universal learning. Woverius' correspondence was heavily censored on its publication in 1618, and this new manuscript material will allow much of this censorship to be unpicked.

Teaching and supervision

I teach on EN121 Medieval to Renaissance Literature, The Classical Tradition in English Translation, and EN2L6/EN3L2 Shakespeare. I also teach on the MA degree in the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance.

I am very happy to supervise work on any aspect of early modern literature: please email me for a conversation. For the work of some past PhD students, see here.

I am associate editor for Warwick Studies in Renaissance Thought and Culture (Brepols). Please follow the link for guidance on how to submit a book proposal.

Selected publications

For a full list of publications, see here.
From Pliny, Natural History, 1582 (c) P. Botley 2018 "Deadline? What deadline?" (Pliny, Natural History, 1582, p. 20)

All images on this webpage © P. Botley, 2018

Office hours

During the autumn term 2021 my office hours are:

Tuesdays 4.00-5.00 pm
Thursdays 2.00-3.00 pm

I'm happy to meet in person or via Microsoft Teams. You can, of course, email me at any time.

Microsoft Teams is provided free to all members of the University. To download it, and for guidance, please see: Information on Teams


EN121 Medieval to Renaissance Literature

EN2L6/EN3L2 Shakespeare and Selected Dramatists

EN2F3/EN3F3 The Classical Tradition in Renaissance English Translations

RS902 Methodology

RS904 Renaissance Culture and Society

Ovid, Metamorphoses, book 1

Ovid, Metamorphoses, 1674, book 1

Seneca, 1662 (c) P. Botley 2018

Seneca, Tragedies, 1662