Professor Ian Small BA PhD


Professor of English Literature

Department of English

Photograph of Professor Ian Small

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Ian Small has published widely on late nineteenth-century intellectual culture, on the theory and practice of text-editing, and on the role of literary theory in English studies. He has a particular interest in Oscar Wilde. He has edited a number of Wilde's works and - most recently - has published on the nature of Wilde's writing career. He is the general editor of the Oxford English Texts edition of the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde. 


Nineteenth and twentieth century English literature.

Postgraduate supervision

All areas of late nineteenth century English literature.


Late nineteenth-century literature and culture; Anglo-French literary relations; text theory.


Authored books

  • 1991 Conditions for Criticism:  Authority, Knowledge and Literature in the Late-Nineteenth-Century (Oxford: Oxford UP). Pp. x+155.
  • 1993 Oscar Wilde Revalued: An Essay on New Methods and Materials of Research (Greensboro, N.C.: ELT Press). Pp. xii+275.
  • 1993 (with Josephine Guy) Politics and Value in English Studies: A Discipline in Crisis? (Cambridge: CUP). Pp. x+195.
    New paperback edition 2009.
  • 2000 Oscar Wilde: Recent Research (Greensboro, N.C.: ELT Press). Pp. viii+224.
  • 2000 (with Josephine Guy) Oscar Wilde’s Profession: Writing and the Culture Industry in the Late Nineteenth Century Oxford: Oxford UP) Pp. x+314.
  • 2006 (with Josephine Guy) Studying Oscar Wilde: History, Criticism, & Myth (Greensboro, N.C.: ELT Press). Pp. viii+232.


Scholarly editions

  • 1979 ed. The Aesthetes (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul). Pp. x+204.
  • 1980  ed. Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan. New Mermaid Series (London: A. and C. Black). Pp. xxxiv+102.
    Revised second edition 1993.
    New edition 2009.
  • 1983  ed. (with Russell Jackson) Oscar Wilde, Two Society Comedies. New Mermaid Series (London: A. and C. Black). Pp. xxxviii+298.
  • 1986 ed. Walter Pater, Marius the Epicurean (Oxford: Oxford UP). Pp. xxx+292.
  • 1992 ed. Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance Mermaid Series (London A and C Black). Pp.xlvi+128.New edition 2009.1994 ed. Oscar Wilde, The Complete Short Fiction (London: Penguin). Pp. xxxv+288.
  • 2000-present. General editor. The Oxford English Texts Edition of The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde (Oxford: Oxford UP).
  • 2000 vol. i. Poems and Poems in Prose (volume editors Bobby Fong and Karl Beckson). (Oxford: Oxford UP). Pp. xxxii+333.
  • 2005 vol ii. De Profundis (volume editor Ian Small). (Oxford: Oxford UP). Pp. v+245.
  • 2005 vol iii. The Picture of Dorian Gray: The 1890 and 1891 Texts (volume editor Joseph Bristow). (Oxford: Oxford UP). Pp. lxviii+465.
  • 2007 vol. iv. The Criticism (volume editor Josephine Guy) (Oxford: Oxford UP).          Pp. xcviii+604.


  • Oscar Wilde, vol. vi. The Short Stories (volume editor Ian Small). (Oxford: Oxford UP). Forthcoming, 2012
  • Oscar Wilde, vols. ii-viii. The Journalism (i) and (ii) (Oxford: Oxford UP). Forthcoming, 2012-13.

Decadents, Symbolists, Anti-Decadents: Poetry of the 1890s Series

(All edited and introduced with R.K.R Thornton)

  • 1993. John Davidson, Fleet Street Eclogues 1893, 1896 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1993. John Davidson, In a Music-Hall 1891; Ballads and Songs1894 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1993. Michael Field, Sight and Song 1892; Underneath the Bough 1893 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1993. William Ernest Henley, Poems 1898 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1993. Lionel Johnson, Poems 1895 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1993. Rudyard Kipling, Barrack-Room Ballads 1892 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1993. Arthur Symons, Silhouettes 1896; London Nights 1897 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1993. Francis Thompson, Poems 1894 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1994. The Book of the Rhymers’ Club Ballads 1892, 1894 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1994. Ernest Dowson, Verses 1896; Decorations 1899 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1994. John Gray, Silverpoints 1893; Spiritual Poems 1896 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1994. Theodore Wratislaw, Caprices 1893; Orchids 1896 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1994. William Butler Yeats, Poems 1895 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1994. William Butler Yeats, The Wind Among the Reeds 1899 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1995. Selwyn Image, Poems and Carols 1894; Herbert Horne, Diversi Colores 1891 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1995. Henry Newbolt, The Island Race 1898  (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1995. Vincent O’Sullivan, The Houses of Sin 1897; Poems 1896 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1995 Victor Plarr, In the Dorian Mood 1896 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1995. Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol 1898 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1995. Oscar Wilde, Poems 1892 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1996. Olive Custance, Opals 1897; Rainbows 1902 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1996. Alfred Douglas, City of the Soul 1899 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1996. Lionel Johnson, Ireland with Other Poems 1897 Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1996 Richard Le Gallienne, R.L. Stevenson and Other Poems 1895 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).
  • 1996. Arthur Symons, Images of Good and Evil 1899 (Oxford: Woodstock Books).

Edited collections of essays

  • 1988  ed. (with Ceri Crossley), Studies in Anglo-French Cultural Relations (London:  Macmillan). Pp. x+247.
  • 1989  ed. (with Ceri Crossley), The French Revolution and British Culture (Oxford:  Oxford UP). Pp. xviii+225.
  • 1991  ed. (with Laurel Brake), Pater in the 1990s (Greensboro, N.C.: ELT Press). Pp. xxi+ 282. E-book version 1998.
  • 1992  ed. (with Marcus Walsh). The Theory and Practice of Text-Editing: Essays in Honour of J.T. Boulton (Cambridge: Cambridge UP). Pp.x+221.
    New Paperback edition 2006.

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