Professor John Jowett

John Jowett

Shakespeare Institute
Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare Studies

Contact details

+ 44 (0)121 414 9507
The Shakespeare Institute
Mason Croft
Church Street
CV37 6HP

My teaching and research focuses mainly on Shakespeare and early modern drama, with particular reference to editing and all areas of textual study.


  • BA (Hons), and MA (Distinction), Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • PhD (Liverpool)


Born in Lancashire, I took my BA and MA at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and my PhD at Liverpool University. My doctoral thesis was an edition of Henry Chettle’s Tragedy of Hoffman. As I was completing, I took up a position with Oxford University Press as an academic editor of the landmark 1986-7 Oxford edition of Shakespeare's Complete Works. I then spent five years lecturing at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. Afterwards, I taught for a year in the Department of English Literature at Glasgow University, before being appointed to the Shakespeare Institute in 1993.

Postgraduate supervision

I supervise MA by Research and PhD students working in a range of areas including early modern drama, Tudor and Stuart texts and their transmission in manuscript and print, and all aspects of editorial practice and theory.

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


Major completed collaborative projects include the online and print New Oxford Shakespeare Critical Reference and Modern Critical editions of Shakespeare’s complete works. I was one of the General Editors of these volumes, with particular responsibility for the original-spelling Critical Reference edition. In addition, I edited some of the most textually challenging texts, including Hamlet and King Lear.

Previous to this, I was an Associate General Editor and major contributor to Thomas Middleton’s Collected Works. I have also edited Richard III and Timon of Athens for the Oxford Wold’s Classics series, and Sir Thomas More for the Arden Shakespeare.

I am a General Editor of the ongoing Arden Early Modern Drama, a parallel series to the Arden Shakespeare that publishes non-Shakespearian drama of the early modern period.

I am also a member of the Editorial Committee of the Malone Society, and have overseen a number of their editions now in print.

I am on the Advisory Board of Shakespeare Internet Editions, the prime example of a freely-available online digital Shakespeare edition and resource.  I also serve on the Advisory Board of several journals including Shakespeare Survey.

I have published articles on textual studies in various leading scholarly journals, and am currently developing a research project on Sir Edward Dering’s 1623 manuscript adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays.

Other activities

I am Secretary of the biennial International Shakespeare Conference held at the Shakespeare Institute. I contribute to the proceedings of various scholarly conferences, including the Shakespeare Association of America annual meeting. I have been a visiting lecturer at various universities in Britain, Europe, America, Australia, and New Zealand.



  • William Shakespeare, Complete Works, Modern Critical and Critical Reference Editions, New Oxford Shakespeare, gen. ed. Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)
  • Sir Thomas More, Original Text by Anthony Munday and Henry Chettle, censored by Edmund Tilney, revisions co-ordinated by Hand C, revised by Henry Chettle, Thomas Dekker, Thomas Heywood, and William Shakespeare, ed. John Jowett, The Arden Shakespeare (London: Methuen, 2011)
  • Thomas Middleton, Collected Works, General Editor Gary Taylor, Associate General Editors John Jowett and others, print and electronic editions; Thomas Middleton and Early Modern Textual Culture: A Companion to the Collecteed Works, with Taylor et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)
  • Timon of Athens, ed. John Jowett (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)
  • The Tragedy of King Richard III, ed. John Jowett (Oxford: Clarendon, 2000)
  • The Oxford Shakespeare: S.W. Wells and Gary Taylor, with John Jowett and William Montgomery, William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987; reprinted New York and London: Norton, 1997); William Shakespeare, The Complete Works, General Editors S.W. Wells and Gary Taylor, edited by S.W. Wells, Gary Taylor, John Jowett, and William Montgomery, Original-Spelling and Modern-Spelling Editions (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986; developed as The Norton Shakespeare, New York and London: Norton, 1997); Electronic Edition (Oxford University Press, 1987)

Other books

  • Shakespeare and Text (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)
  • Gary Taylor and John Jowett, Shakespeare Reshaped, 1606-1623 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1993; reprinted 1997)

Selected articles

  • ‘Printing, Publishing, Texts’, section introductory essay, Cambridge World Shakespeare Encyclopedia, print and electronic (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 323-35
  • ‘Full Pricks and Great P’s’: Spellings, Punctuation, Accidentals’, in Shakespeare and Textual Studies, ed. Margaret Jane Kidnie and Sonia Massai (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 317-31
  • ‘Disintegration, 1924’, in Shakespeare 10 (2014), 171-87
  • ‘Shakespeare as Collaborator’, in Shakespeare Beyond Doubt, ed. Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 88-99
  • ‘A Collaboration: Shakespeare and Hand C in Sir Thomas More’, in Shakespeare Survey 65 (2012), 255-68
  • ‘Shakespeare Supplemented’, in The Shakespeare Apocrypha, ed. Douglas A. Brooks and Ann Thompson (Edwin Mellon, 2007), 39-73
  • ‘Editing Shakespeare’s Plays in the Twentieth Century’, in Shakespeare Survey 59 (2006), 1-19
  • ‘Varieties of Collaboration in Shakespeare’s Problem and Late Plays’, in A Companion to Shakespeare’s Works, vol. 4, The Poems, Problem Comedies, Late Plays, edited by Richard Dutton and Jean Howard (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003), 106-28
  • ‘Middleton and Debt in Timon of Athens’, in Money and the Age of Shakespeare, ed. Linda Woodbridge (New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 219-35
  • ‘Thomas Middleton’, in A Companion to Renaissance Drama, ed. Arthur F. Kinney (Oxford and Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2002), 507-23