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Dr. John West


Dr John West is Associate Professor, and teaches in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies.

Research Interests

My research focuses on seventeenth-century literature and culture, especially the intersections of literature, politics, and religion from around 1640 to 1714. My current projects include a commissioned chapter about the 'people' in Civil War literature, and research for a book about literature and succession from the end of the First Civil War to the restoration of Charles II. The latter project springs from my work as a Research Fellow at Exeter University on the Stuart Successions Project, which yielded a bibliographical database of succession literature, an anthology of primary sources that was published by MUP, and a volume of essays that was published by OUP. I also contributed to a series of public engagement activities that led to the development of the educational website Stuarts Online.


On the undergraduate syllabus I teach on the modules Epic into Novel, Seventeenth-Century Literature and Literature and Revolution 1640-60 (all of which I convene in 2020-21). Before arriving at Warwick, I taught literature and drama for nearly two years at the University of Nottingham, where I also supervised undergraduate dissertations on topics ranging from witchcraft on the early modern stage to the devil in children’s literature and an MA dissertation on Renaissance epic. I’d be happy to hear from undergraduates and postgraduates interested in writing dissertations on any aspects of seventeenth-century literature.

Selected Publications

Dryden and Enthusiasm: Literature, Religion, and Politics in Restoration England (Oxford, 2018).

With Andrew McRae ed. Literature of the Stuart Successions: An Anthology (Manchester, 2017).

'The People and the English Civil Wars' in The People: Belonging, Exclusion, and Democracy ed. Benjamin Kohlmann and Matthew Taunton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). 

'Poetry, the Passions, and Anti-Democracy in Later Stuart England' in Democracy and Anti-Democracy in Early Modern England, 1603-1689Link opens in a new window ed. Cesare Cuttica and Markku Peltonen (Leiden, 2019).

‘‘A great Romance feigned to raise wonder’: Literature and the Making of the 1689 Succession’ in Stuart Succession Literature: Moments and TransformationsLink opens in a new window ed. Andrew McRae and Paulina Kewes (Oxford, 2019), pp. 114-31.