Professor Paul Botley
Email: paul dot botley at warwick dot ac dot uk
Room 5.39, Faculty of Arts Building, 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.
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, and focusses on collections of letters. In 2012 I published with Dirk van Miert an edition of the letters of the formidable 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).
My research on the letters of the great renaissance scholar Isaac Casaubon (1559-1614) was funded by the Leverhulme Trust. This three-year 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 printed here for the first time. Work is now underway on an edition of Casaubon's correspondence from his earliest years, while he taught at Geneva and Montpellier in the late sixteenth century.
I have recently been awarded a further grant from the Leverhulme Trust to work for two years on the correspondence of Dominicus Baudius (1561-1613). Baudius’ habitual frankness ensured that his letters were heavily censored when published after his death, and over 100 manuscript sources will be used to repair this censorship and study its motives. The new edition, containing over 400 letters, is to be published in three volumes in 2025. It will show how such printed letter-collections were filtered and manipulated by their earliest editors in order to project an idea of the proper business and preoccupations of the Renaissance scholar.
I am also studying Baudius' good friend, Johannes Woverius of Hamburg (Wouwer, 1574-1612). Woverius is best known today for his treatise De polymathia (1603), an incomplete, flawed and possibly plagiarised study of universal learning. Woverius' correspondence was also heavily censored on its publication in 1618, but large quantities of previously unpublished manuscript material will allow much of this censorship to be unpicked, and enable a surprising new biography.
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 and present 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.
I am a member of the editorial board for the LYSA Neo-Latin Texts series, which publishes early modern Latin texts alongside modern English translations. Do get in touch if you'd like to discuss a project for publication in this series.
- With Máté Vince, ed. The Correspondence of Isaac Casaubon, 1610-1614. 4 vols. Geneva: Droz, 2018.
- Richard 'Dutch' Thomson (c. 1569-1613): The Life and Letters of a Renaissance Scholar. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2016.
- With Dirk van Miert, ed. The Correspondence of Joseph Scaliger (1540-1609). 8 vols. Geneva: Droz, 2012.
- Learning Greek in Western Europe, 1396-1529. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2010.
- Latin Translation in the Renaissance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004 (paperback 2009).
For a full list of publications, see here.
"Deadline? What deadline?" (Pliny, Natural History, 1582, p. 20)
All images on this webpage © P. Botley, 2018
I am on research leave in the academic year 2022-23.
EN121 Medieval to Renaissance Literature
EN2L6/EN3L2 Shakespeare and Selected Dramatists
EN2F3/EN3F3 The Classical Tradition in Renaissance English Translations
RS904 Renaissance Culture and Society
Ovid, Metamorphoses, 1674, book 1
Seneca, Tragedies, 1662
Woverius, De polymathia, 1604