Dr Peter Auger

Dr Peter Auger

Department of English Literature
Lecturer in Early Modern Literature

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My research concerns early modern and comparative literature, especially poetry. I study sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature in relation to its Scottish and French counterparts, emphasizing regional and transnational dynamics in literary activities across all three nations. As founder of the Early Modern Boundaries project, I am an advocate for international collaboration and multilingual literary studies.


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


After training at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, I lectured at Exeter College, Oxford, between 2012 and 2014. I then held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at Queen Mary University of London, and 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 teach on the undergraduate modules Poetry and Songs and Sonnets, and the MA module Writing Revolutions. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Postgraduate supervision

I am supervising doctoral students working on aspects of seventeenth-century poetry and prose, and welcome enquires from prospective students interested in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature.


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 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.

Other research interests include women writers (especially the early American poet Anne Bradstreet), literary imitation and reading practices, manuscript studies and religious writing.

Other activities

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 articles include:

William Scott’s Translations from Du Bartas’ La Sepmaine [with text]English Literary Renaissance 47 (2017), 21-72 

The Octonaire in Thomas Smith’s Self-PortraitHuntington Library Quarterly 80 (2017), 1-19

Fashioned by Use: Jacques Bellot’s Rules and its SuccessorsHistory of European Ideas 40 (2016), 651-64

Le Manuscrit Royal de la Suite de la Seconde Semaine de Du BartasBibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance 78 (2016), 127-43

Printed Marginalia, Extractive Reading and Josuah Sylvester’s Devine Weekes (1605)Modern Philology 113 (2015), 66-87

A Model of Creation?: Sidney, Scott and Du BartasSidney Journal 33.1 (2015), 69-90

Presbyterian Imitation Practices in Zachary Boyd’s Nebuchadnezzars Fierie Furnace, The Seventeenth Century 28 (2013), 207-19

The Semaines’ Dissemination in England and Scotland until 1641Renaissance Studies 26 (2012), 625-40