Dr Peter Auger

Dr Peter Auger

Department of English Literature
Lecturer in Early Modern Literature

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I work on early modern literature, especially poetry. I primarily study sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature in relation to its Scottish and French counterparts, emphasizing regional dynamics across all three nations. Both my research and teaching promote international perspectives on English literature.


  • 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 teach or have taught on first-year ‘Poetry’, and second-year ‘Songs and Sonnets’ and ‘Shakespeare’. My final-year module is about the art of translation from the Bhagavad Gita to Brian Friel’s Translations. I have also led master’s seminars on various topics. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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.


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.

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

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 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.

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

Auger, P 2015, 'A Model of Creation? Scott, Sidney and Du Bartas', Sidney Journal, vol. 33, pp. 69-90. <http://www.sidneysociety.org/>

Auger, P 2015, 'Printed Marginalia, Extractive Reading, and Josuah Sylvester’s Devine Weekes (1605)', Modern Philology: critical and historical studies in postclassical literature, vol. 113, pp. 66-87. https://doi.org/10.1086/681010

Auger, PA 2014, 'Attribution of Three Works to John Viccars (c. 1604–53?)', Notes and Queries, vol. 61, no. 3, pp. 362-366. https://doi.org/10.1093/notesj/gju081

Auger, P 2014, 'How Scottish Is the Scottish Psalter? William Mure of Rowallan, Zachary Boyd, and the Metrical Psalter of 1650', Studies in Scottish Literature, vol. 40, no. 1, 9, pp. 55-75. <https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/ssl/vol40/iss1/9/>

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

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 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

Auger, PA 2016, 'Review: ‘La Sepmaine’ de Du Bartas, ses lecteurs et la science du temps: en hommage à Yvonne Bellenger. Actes du Colloque international d'Orléans (12–13 juin 2014) by Denis Bjaï', Modern Language Review, vol. 111, no. 3, pp. 865-866. https://doi.org/10.5699/modelangrevi.111.3.0865

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