Dr Peter Auger

Dr Peter Auger

Department of English Literature
Lecturer in Early Modern Literature

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I study sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature in relation to French, Scottish, and other languages and literatures. My research includes topics related to literary reception, translation and imitation practices, the history of reading, transnational and comparative literature, women’s writing, manuscript studies, epic and religious poetry, language learning, and cultural diplomacy.


  • BA and MPhil, University of Cambridge
  • DPhil, University of Oxford


I went to school in Nottingham and Norwich, and then studied at Cambridge and Oxford. After lecturing at Exeter College, Oxford for several terms, I then held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at Queen Mary University of London. I joined Birmingham in 2017. Like many early career researchers, I made many (in my case, over fifty) unsuccessful job and funding applications while on fixed-term contracts.


I have taught courses on early modern literature (c. 1500-1700) for over a decade. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. My teaching seeks to help students to become sensitive critical readers and global-minded citizens who can appreciate the value of historical perspectives for understanding the present.

At Birmingham I teach or have taught on the first-year modules ‘Poetry’ and ‘Reading English’, and the second-year modules ‘Renaissance Poetry’ (which I convene) and ‘Shakespeare’. My third-year module, ‘The Art of Translation’, is an introduction to translation studies that considers English translations of works including the Odyssey, the Bhagavad Gītā, and the Tale of Kiều. I have also taught master’s seminars on various topics.

Postgraduate supervision

I am currently supervising doctoral students working on Italian language-learning in Henrician England (Michele Piscitelli), autobiographical writings and the Royal Society (Caroline Curtis), seventeenth-century meditational poetry and prose (Thomas Clifton), and Milton and seventeenth-century philosophy (Lenhardt Stevens).

I welcome enquiries from prospective students interested in early modern English and related literature.

Find out more - our PhD English Literature  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My research examines how English literature interacts with French, Scottish and other languages and literatures, how identity and power shape reading and writing practices, and how literary texts are received and passed down through time. My research includes topics related to literary reception, translation and imitation practices, the history of reading, transnational and comparative literature, women's writing, manuscript studies, epic and religious poetry, language learning, and cultural diplomacy. I tend to work on poetry, using archival and other primary sources wherever possible.

In my doctoral thesis and numerous shorter pieces, I examined case studies in the reception history of James VI and I’s favourite poet, Guillaume de Saluste Du Bartas (1544-90). This evidence supports the argument made in Du Bartas’ Legacy in England and Scotland (Oxford, 2019) that Du Bartas’ extraordinary renown led his works to provide a vital model for popular religious and epic verse to which Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, Anne Bradstreet, John Milton, Lucy Hutchinson and many other sixteenth- and seventeenth-century poets writing in English responded.

My current research challenges earlier anglocentric readings of the French influence on English literature to present a more inclusive view of Franco-British poetic activity during James VI and I’s reign. I am developing an approach to reception studies that emphasizes how social and cultural settings shape literary activity, uses archival and historical research to inform literary appreciation, and investigates cultural links between England, Scotland and continental Europe conscious of how they help us reflect on present-day relations between those territories.

In 2019 I organized an international symposium with Sheldon Brammall on ‘Multilingual Practices in Early Modern Literary Culture’, which was funded by the AHRC Open World Project MEITS. Between 2015 and 2017, I used a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award to set up the Early Modern Boundaries network, which offers a way for the global research community to ask and answer research queries.

Please see my personal web-page for a full list of publications with links.


Recent publications


Auger, P 2019, Du Bartas' Legacy in England and Scotland. Oxford English Monographs, Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198827818.001.0001


Auger, P 2021, 'Astrological Description in Spenser and Du Bartas', Spenser Review, vol. 51, no. 1, 5. <http://www.english.cam.ac.uk/spenseronline/review/item/51.1.5>

Auger, P 2020, 'The Poetics of Scriptural Quotation in the Divorce Tracts', Milton Quarterly, vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 23-40. https://doi.org/10.1111/milt.v54.1

Auger, P 2017, 'The Books of Tho. Hobbes', Hobbes Studies, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 236-253. https://doi.org/10.1163/18750257-03002006

Auger, P 2017, 'The Octonaire in Thomas Smith’s Self-Portrait', Huntington Library Quarterly, vol. 80, pp. 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1353/hlq.2017.0000

Auger, P 2017, 'William Scott’s Translation from Du Bartas’ Sepmaine [with text]', English Literary Renaissance, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 21-72. https://doi.org/10.1086/692107

Auger, PA 2016, 'Fashioned by use: Jacques Bellot’s rules and its successors', History of European Ideas, vol. 42, no. 5, pp. 651-664. https://doi.org/10.1080/01916599.2016.1159880

Auger, P 2016, 'Le Manuscrit Royal de la Suite de la Seconde Semaine de Du Bartas', Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance, vol. 78, no. 1, pp. 127-143. <https://www.droz.org/europe/product/9782600047371>

Auger, P 2016, 'Playing Josephus on the English Stage', International Journal of the Classical Tradition, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 326-332. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12138-016-0406-6

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Auger, P 2020, Du Bartas’ Pattern for English Scriptural Poets. in A-P Pouey-Mounou & PJ Smith (eds), Ronsard and Du Bartas in Early Modern Europe. Intersections, vol. 69, Brill, pp. 302-331. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004438569_015

Auger, P & Bjaï, D 2020, The King James Text of Du Bartas’ “Les Peres”: An Edition. in A-P Pouey-Mounou & PJ Smith (eds), Ronsard and Du Bartas in Early Modern Europe. Intersections, vol. 69, Brill, pp. 332-70. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004438569_016

Auger, P 2019, Translation and Cultural Convergence in Late Sixteenth-Century Scotland and France. in TA Sowerby & J Craigwood (eds), Cultures of Diplomacy and Literary Writing in the Early Modern World. Oxford University Press, pp. 115-28. <https://global.oup.com/academic/product/cultures-of-diplomacy-and-literary-writing-in-the-early-modern-world-9780198835691?cc=gb&lang=en&#>

Book/Film/Article review

Auger, P 2021, 'The Shakespearean comic and tragicomic: French inflections, by Richard Hillman', Translation and Literature, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 188-94. https://doi.org/10.3366/tal.2021.0448

Auger, P 2019, 'Review of Kristina Bross, Future History: Global Fantasies in Seventeenth-Century American and British Writings', Modern Language Review, vol. 114, no. 3, pp. 548-549. https://doi.org/10.5699/modelangrevi.114.3.0548

Auger, P 2018, 'Review: Robert Garnier in Elizabethan England: Mary Sidney Herbert's ‘Antonius’ and Thomas Kyd's ‘Cornelia’, edited by Marie-Alice Belle and Line Cottegnies; Montaigne in Transit: Essays in Honour of Ian Maclean, edited by Neil Kenny, Richard Scholar, and Wes Williams', Translation and Literature, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 353-60. https://doi.org/10.3366/tal.2018.0356

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