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Emeritus Reader John M Rignall

Emeritus Reader

Email: j dot m dot rignall at warwick dot ac dot uk

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


After studying Modern Languages (French and German) at Cambridge and Comparative Literature at Sussex, he taught for two years at the University of Bonn, Germany, before joining the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at Warwick, where he is now an Emeritus Reader.

Research interests

Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century English fiction, in particular the work of George Eliot, and the relations of the English novel to the European novel (principally French and German) in this period.



Realist Fiction and the Strolling Spectator (London and New York: Routledge, 1992), pp. viii + 182.

George Eliot and Europe, ed. (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1997), pp. xii + 239.

Edition of George Eliot, Daniel Deronda (London: Everyman paperbacks, 1999), with chronology, introduction, explanatory notes, review of criticism, bibliography, text summary.

Oxford Reader’s Companion to George Eliot, ed. [General Editor and principal contributor] (Oxford University Press, 2000), pp. xxvi + 478.

George Eliot, European Novelist (Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2011), pp. xii + 184.

Ecology and the Literature of the British Left: The Red and the Green, ed. with H. Gustav Klaus (Farnham and Burlington VT: Ashgate, 2012), pp. xii + 267.

Edited Collection

Ed. with William Baker, ‘George Eliot and the Heart of England’, Special Issue of George Eliot—George Henry Lewes Studies, 24–5 (1993), pp. 177.

Articles and Chapters in Books

‘Between Chartism and the 1880s: J. W. Overton and E. Lynn Linton’, in The Socialist Novel in Britain, ed. H. Gustav Klaus (Brighton: Harvester Press’ 1982), pp. 26–44.

‘The Historical Double: Waverley, Sylvia’s Lovers, The Trumpet-Major’, Essays in Criticism, 34 (1984), 14–32.

‘Dickens and the Catastrophic Continuum of History in A Tale of Two Cities’, ELH, 51 (1984), 575–87

Reprinted in Charles Dickens’s ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, ed. Harold Bloom (New York: Chelsea House, 1987)

‘History and Consciousness in Beim Bau der chinesischen Mauer’, in Paths and Labyrinths: Nine Papers from a Kafka Symposium, ed. J. P. Stern and J. J. White (London: Institute of Germanic Studies, 1985), pp. 111–26.

‘Thackeray’s Henry Esmond and the Struggle against the Power of Time’, in The Nineteenth-Century British Novel, ed. Jeremy Hawthorn (London: Edward Arnold, 1986), pp. 81–93.

‘Struggles of the Past: Brushing History against the Grain’, in The Rise of Socialist Fiction 1880–1914, ed. H. Gustav Klaus (Brighton: Harvester Press, 1987), pp. 99–120.

‘Benjamin’s Flâneur and the Problem of Realism’, in The Problems of Modernity: Adorno and Benjamin, ed. Andrew Benjamin (London and New York: Routledge, 1989), pp. 112–21.

‘Walter Scott, J. G. Farrell, and Fictions of Empire’, Essays in Criticism, 41 (1991), 11–27.

‘Metaphor, Truth, and the Mobile Imagination in The Mill on the Floss’, The George Eliot Review, 24 (1993), 36–40.

‘History and the “Speech of the Landscape” in Eliot’s Depiction of Midland Life’, George Eliot—George Henry Lewes Studies, 24–5 (1993), 147–61.

‘George Eliot and the Furniture of the House of Fiction’, George Eliot Review, 27 (1996), 23–30.

‘George Eliot, Balzac and Proust’, in George Eliot and Europe, ed. John Rignall (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1997), pp. 210–24.

‘From City Streets to Country Houses: The Detective as Flâneur’, in The Art of Murder, ed. H. Gustav Klaus and Stephen Knight (Stauffenburg Verlag, 1998), pp. 67–76.

‘Literary Relations with the Continent: German’, The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, 3rd edition, vol. 4, ed. Joanne Shattock (Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 16–31.

‘Continuity and Rupture: English Novels of the First World War’, in Outside Modernism. ed. Lynne Hapgood and Nancy Paxton (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000), pp. 43–62.

‘George Eliot: The Writer as Monument and Writing about Monuments’, Australasian Victorian Studies Journal, 7 (2001), 89–98.

‘From Revolutionary Enthusiasm to Realism: A. H. Clough’s and George Eliot’s Responses to the Revolution of 1848’, in Nachmärz und Realismus, ed. W. Koopmann and M. Perraudin (Bielefeld: Aisthesis Verlag, 2003), pp. 93–103.

‘Nietzsche’s Vom Nutzen und Nachteil der Historie für das Leben and English Fiction in the Later Nineteenth Century’, in Kulturkritik, Erinnerungskunst und Utopie, ed. Anita Bunyan and Helmut Koopmann (Bielefeld: Aisthesis Verlag, 2003), pp. 121–31.

‘”One great confederation?”: Europe in the Victorian Novel’, in A Concise Companion to the Victorian Novel, ed. Francis O’Gorman (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005), pp. 232–52.

‘Conrad and Anarchism: Irony, Solidarity and Betrayal’, in ’To Hell with Culture’: Anarchism and Twentieth-Century British Literature, ed. H. Gustav Klaus and Stephen Knight (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2005), pp. 11–20.

‘George Eliot and the Idea of Travel’, Yearbook of English Studies, 36 (2006), 139–52.

‘George Eliot and Weimar: “an affinity for what the world calls ‘dull places”’, George Eliot Review, 37 (2006), 7–16.

‘From Picturesque to Palimpsest: Landscape and History in the Fiction of Walter Scott and Graham Swift’, in Victorian Turns, NeoVictorian Returns: Essays on Fiction and Culture, eds. Penny Gay, Judith Johnston, and Catherine Waters (Newcastle: Cambridge Scolars, 2008), pp. 148–57.

‘Death and Recollection: The Elegiac Dimension of Scenes of Clerical Life’, George Eliot Review, Special Issue (2009), 58–67.

‘Gutzkow and George Eliot: Realism and “Der Roman des Nebeneinander”’, in Karl Gutzkow and his Contemporaries. Karl Gutzkow und seine Zeitgenossen, Vormärz-Studien XXI, ed. Gert Vonhoff (Bielefeld: Aisthesis Verlag, 2011), pp. 309–18.

‘George Eliot’, in Scott, Dickens, Eliot, Hardy: Great Shakespeareans, vol. V, ed. Adrian Poole (London and New York: Continuum, 2011), pp. 95–138.

‘George Eliot (1819–1880): Reality and sympathy’, in The Cambridge Companion to European Novelists, ed. Michael Bell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 227–43.

‘Landscape, Labour and History in Later Nineteenth-Century Writing’, in Ecology and the Literature of the British Left: The Red and the Green, ed. John Rignall and H. Gustav Klaus (Farnham and Burlington VT: Ashgate, 2012), pp. 101–12.

‘Moments of Suspension in Dickens’, in Form and Feeling in Modern Literature: Essays in Honour of Barbara Hardy, ed. William Baker with Isobel Armstrong (London: Legenda, 2013), pp. 51–8.

‘Landscape’, and ‘Metropolitanism’, in George Eliot in Context, ed. Margaret Harris (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 168–75, and 190–96.

‘Cowper’s Importance for George Eliot’, The Cowper and Newton Journal, 3 (2013), 17–22.


  • BA; MA (Cantab)
  • D.Phil (Sussex)