Jon Mee


MA, PhD (Cantab)

I came to York in 2013 after seven years at the University of Warwick as Professor of English and over a decade in the English Faculty at Oxford where I was Margaret Candfield Fellow in English at University College (the one that threw Shelley out for atheism 200 years ago) and Professor of Literature of the Romantic Period. Prior to moving to Oxford, I was a Senior Lecturer at the Australian National University. I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne followed by a PhD at Cambridge. I was a Junior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford, before I moved to Australia in 1991.

My most recent monograph is Conversable Worlds: Literature, Contention, and Community 1762-1830 (Oxford University Press) based on research funded by a Phillip J. Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship. It will be published in paperback in October 2013. During the course of working on the book, I held fellowships at the University of Chicago (2008), the Yale Centre for British Art (2009), and the Australian National University (2009). I have also recently published The Cambridge Introduction to Charles Dickens and an essay on 'Popular Radical Culture' in The Cambridge Companion to British Literature of the French Revolution in the 1790s. Other forthcoming work includes the 15000 word plus omni-review of work in the early nineteenth-century for the journal Studies in English Literature. I am a series co-editor for Pickering & Chatto’s series The Enlightenment World.

I have just completed an AHRC fellowship to write a book on the print culture of popular radicalism in London in the 1790s. I am also currently the PI a Leverhulme Major Project Grant to form a group to work on 'Networks of Improvement: Literary Clubs and Societies, 1760-1840'. The project is interested in the circulation of ideas of all kinds through various networks (regional, national, colonial) in the period and also the construction of ideas of the ‘literary’ in relation to such networks.

I am Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies in the English Department. 



Research Interests

I continue to be interested in various individual authors on whom I have written, Barbauld, Blake, Coleridge, Hazlitt, Keats, Wollstonecraft, and Wordsworth among them, but in general I am interested in supervising dissertations on authors across the 1760-1840 period.

Beyond individuals, I am interested in constructions of sociability in the period, and the work of literature and the visual arts not only in representing such sociability but also as something that flowed through and constructed these networks by its presence. More generally I am interested in the role of networks in the circulation of knowledge in the period, for instance, via the literary and philosophical societies that still exist in places like Manchester and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The 1790s is a particular decade of interest for me, and I retain a special interest in the culture of radicalism as it manifested itself in ideas, various forms of social performance (from toasts to monster meetings), and print culture.


I will be offering an MA module ‘Print Politics in the 1790s’ in 2014-15

I am interested in supervising dissertations on topics in the 1790s, anything in relation to the culture of radical politics in the period 1760-1840, and topics related to sociability, the circulation of knowledge, clubs and societies, or constructions of the ‘literary’ in the period 1760-1840. Please don’t hesitate to contact me in relation to any other topic in the long eighteenth century.


Single-authored Books

  • Conversable Worlds Literature, Contention, and Community 1762-1830 (Oxford University Press, 2011). Nominated for the Louis Gottschalk Prize (2012) of the American Society of the Eighteenth-Century Studies and the James Russell Lowell Prize (2012) of the MLA. Scheduled for paperback release in October 2013.
  • The Cambridge Introduction to Charles Dickens (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  • Romanticism, Enthusiasm, and Regulation: Poetics and the Policing of Culture in the Romantic Period (Oxford University Press, 2003). Paperback, 2005. 

Included in the Oxford Scholarship Online series.
  • Dangerous Enthusiasm: William Blake and the Culture of Radicalism in the 1790s (Oxford University Press, 1992) 251pp. Paperback, 1994. An extract was reproduced in the Longman Critical Reader William Blake (1998), pp. 43-50, edited and introduced by John Lucas, and also in Blake’s Poetry and Designs, 2nd ed., Mary Lynn Johnson and John E. Grant (eds) (Norton 2007).

 Included in the Oxford Scholarship Online series.

Edited collections of essays and editions of primary texts

  • Ed. with David Fallon, Romanticism and Revolution: A Reader (Blackwell, 2011).
  • Ed. with Colin Jones and Josephine McDonagh, A Tale of Two Cities and the French Revolution (Palgrave 2009).
    Ed. with Tone Brekke, Mary Wollstonecraft, Letters from Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, Oxford World's Classics (Oxford University Press, 2009).
  • Ed. with Sarah Haggarty, Blake and Conflict (Palgrave, 2008).
  • Ed. with John Barrell, Trials for Treason and Sedition, 1792-4, 8 vols (Pickering and Chatto, 2006-7).
  • Ed. with Thomas Keymer, The Cambridge Companion to English Literature, 1740-1830  (Cambridge University Press, 2004).
  • Ed. with Iain McCalman and Clive Hurst, Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge (Oxford World’s Classics, 2003).
  • Ed. The Selected Letters of John Keats, revised edition with introduction and notes, (Oxford World’s Classics, 2002).

 Credited in the Jane Campion film Bright Star.
  • Co-editor with Iain McCalman (General editor), Gillian Russell, and Clara Tuite, An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age (Oxford University Press, 1999).

Chapters in Books

  • ‘Turning things around Together: Enlightenment and Conversation’ for Representing Humanity in the Age of Enlightenment, ed. Ned Curthoys, Alex Cook, and Shino Konish (Pickering and Chatto, 2013) pp. 53-63.
  • ‘Dickens and Ways of Seeing the French Revolution: A Tale of Two Cities' in Reading Historical Fiction: The Revenant and Remembered Past, ed. Kate Mitchell and Nicola Parsons (Palgrave, 2013), pp. 172-186.
  • With Saree Makdisi, ‘”Mutual Interchange”: Life, Liberty, and Community’ in Re-Envisioning Blake, ed. Mark Crosby, Troy Patenaude, Angus Whitehead (Palgrave, 2012), pp. 13-29.
  • 'Popular Radical Culture' in The Cambridge Companion to British Writing on the French Revolution, 1789-1800, ed. Pamela Clemit (Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 117-128.
  • ‘”The Press and Danger of the Crowd”: Godwin, Thelwall and the Counter-Public Sphere’ in Robert Manaquis and Victoria Myers (eds) Godwinian Moments: From Enlightenment to Romanticism (University of Toronto Press, 2011), pp. 83-102.
  • 'Introduction' with Josephine McDonagh and Colin Jones in Mee, Jones, and McDonagh as above 2009.
  • ‘The Dungeon and the Cell’: The Prison Verse of Coleridge and Thelwall in Steve Poole (ed.) John Thelwall: Radical Romantic and Acquitted Felon (Pickering and Chatto 2009), pp. 107-116.
  • 'Introduction' with Sarah Haggarty in Haggarty and Mee as above, pp. 1-11.
  • 'A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action: Blake, Mutuality, and Converse' in Haggarty and Mee as above, pp. 126-143.
  • ‘Barnaby Rudge’ in A Companion to Dickens, ed. David Parroissien (Blackwell, 2008), chap. 23.

'The Magician No Conjuror and the Political Alchemy of the 1790s'  in Unrespectable Radicals: Essays in Honour of Iain McCalman, ed. Michael T. Davis and Paul A. Pickering (Ashgate, 2007), pp. 41-55.
  • ‘Policing Enthusiasm in the Romantic Period: Literary Periodicals and the “Rational” public Sphere’ in Spheres of Influence: Intellectual and Cultural Publics from Shakespeare to Habermas, ed. Alex Benichimol and Willy Maley (Peter Lang, 2007), pp. 175-195.
  • ‘”Severe Contentions of Friendship”: Conversation, contention, and dispute’ in Repossessing the Romantic Past: Essays Celebrating the Work of Marilyn Butler, ed. Heather Glen and Paul Hamilton (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 21-39.
  • ‘Bloody Blake: Nation and Circulation’ in Blake, Nation and Empire, ed. David Worrall and Steve Clark (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2006), pp. 63-82.
  • with Mark Crosby, ‘”This Soldierlike Danger”: William Blake’s Trial for Sedition’ in Resisting Napoleon: The British Response to the Threat of Invasion, 1797-1815, ed. Mark Philp (Ashgate, 2006), pp. 111-124.
 ‘”Images of truth new born”: Iolo, William Blake, and the Literary radicalism of the 1790s’ in Rattleskull Genuis: The Many Faces of Iolo Morganwg,  ed. Geraint Jenkins (University of Wales Press, 2005), pp. 173-93.
’”A Bold and Outspoken Man”: The Strange Career of Charles Pigott II’ in Cultures of Whiggism: New Essays on English Literature and Culture in the Long Eighteenth Century, ed. David Womersley (University of Delaware Press, 2005), pp. 330-50.
‘Blake and the poetics of enthusiasm’ in The Cambridge Companion to Literature, 1740-1832, ed. Keymer and Mee (Cambridge, 2004), pp. 194-210.
‘Temporality and the Transition to Modernity in A Suitable Boy’ in Vikram Seth: An Anthology of Recent Criticism, ed. GJV Prasad (Pencraft International, 2004), pp. 108-121.
 ‘Libertines and Radicals in the 1790s: The Strange Case of Charles Pigott I’ in Libertine Enlightenment: Sex, Liberty and Licence in the Eighteenth Century, ed. Peter Cryle and Lisa O’Connell (Palgrave, 2004), pp. 183-203.

  •  ‘Millenial Visions’ in The Enlightenment World, ed. Martin Fitzpatrick, Peter Jones, Iain McCalman, and Christa Knelwolf (Routledge, 2004), pp. 536-550.

  •  ‘After Midnight: The Novel in the 1980s and 1990s’ in Illustrated History of Indian Literature in English, ed. Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, (Permanent Black, 2003), pp. 318-36.
  • with Shyamala A. Narayan, ‘Novelists of the 1950s and 1960s’ in Illustrated History of Indian Literature in English, ed. Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, (Permanent Black, 2003), pp. 219-31.

‘Blake’s Politics in History’ in The Cambridge Companion to Blake, ed. Morris Eaves (Cambridge University Press 2003), pp. 133-149.

‘”The Burthen of the Mystery”: Imagination and Difference in The Shadow Lines’ in Amitav Ghosh: A Critical Companion, ed. Tabish Khair (Permanent Black, 2003), pp. 90-108.

  • ‘“Portentous as the written word”: Blake’s Illustrations to Night Thoughts’ in Prophetic Character: Essays on William Blake in Honour of John E. Grant, ed. Alexander Gourlay (Locust Hill Press, 2002), pp. 171-203.
  • ‘The Strange Career of Richard “Citizen” Lee’ in British Literary Radicalism, 1650-1830: From Revolution to Revolution, ed. Timothy Morton and Nigel Smith (Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 151-166.
‘“Reciprocal Expressions of Kindness”: Robert Merry at the Limits of Sociability’ in Romantic Sociability: Social Networks and Literary Culture in Britain, 1770-1840, ed. Gillian Russell and Clara Tuite (Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 104-122.

  • ‘History in a Pickle’ in The Fiction of St Stephens, ed. Aditya Bhattarcharjea and Lola Chatterjee (Ravi Dayal, New Delhi, 2000), pp. 101-16.
  •  ‘Austen’s treacherous ivory’ in Post-colonial Jane Austen, ed. You-Me Park and Rajeswari Sunder Rajan (Routledge 2000), pp. 74-92.
  • ‘Innocence and Experience’ in Companion to Literature from Milton to Blake, ed. David Womersley (Blackwells 2000), pp. 402-7.

‘The Political Showman at Home: Reflections on Popular Radicalism and Print Culture in the 1790s’ in Radicalism and Revolution in Britain 1775-1848: Essays in Honour of Malcolm I. Thomis, ed. M. T. Davis (Macmillan, 2000), pp. 41-55.

  • ‘Language’ in The Oxford Companion to the Romanticism Age, ed. Iain McCalman et al (Oxford University Press 1999), pp. 369-78.
’”The Doom of Tyrants”: William Blake, Richard “Citizen” Lee, and the Millenarian Public Sphere’ in Blake, Politics, History, ed. Jackie Di Salvo, Tony Rosso, and Christopher Z. Hobson (Garland, 1998), pp. 97-114.

  • ‘Is there an Antinomian in the House?’ in Historicizing Blake, ed. Steve Clarke and David Worrall (Macmillan, 1994), pp. 43-58.
  • ‘”Examples of Safe Printing”: Censorship and Popular Radical Literature in the1790s’ in Literature and Censorship, ed. Nigel Smith (D. S. Brewer, 1993), pp.81-95.
‘William Blake and John Wright: Two Ex-Swedenborgians’ in Imagining Romanticism: Essays on English and Australian Romanticisms, ed. Deirdre Coleman and Peter Otto (Locust Hill, 1992), pp. 73-84.

Articles in Refereed Journals

  • “‘Mutual intercourse’ and ‘licentious discussion’ in The Microcosm of London, 1808-1811.” The London Journal, 37: 3 (November 2012), 196-214.
  • "'The Use of Conversation': William Godwin's Conversable World and Romantic Sociability" Studies in Romanticism, 50 (Winter 2011), 567-590.
‘“Mopping Up Spilt Religion”: The Problem of Enthusiasm,’ Romanticism on the Net, 25 (2002).
  • ‘Not at Home in English?: India’s Foreign-Returned Fictions,’ The Round Table, 362 (2001), 711-720.

  • ‘Anxieties of Enthusiasm, Coleridge, Prophecy, and Popular Politics in the 1790s’, Huntington Library Quarterly 60 (Winter 1998) 1-25. This collection of essays was also published separately in book-form as Enthusiasm and Enlightenment in Europe, 1650-1850, ed. Lawrence E. Klein and Anthony J. la Vopa (Huntington Library, 1999).
  • ‘After Midnight: The Indian Novel in English of the 1980s and 90s’, Postcolonial Studies 1 (1998) 127-141. This article was reprinted in Rethinking Indian English Literature, ed. Prafulla Kar  and U. M. Nanavati, (Pencraft International, New Delhi, 1999).

“‘itihasa, thus it was’: Mukul Kesavan’s Looking through Glass and the Rewriting of History,” ARIEL: A Review of International Literature in English, 29 (1998), 145-161.

‘“The Insidious Poison of Secret Influence”: A New Historical Context for Blake’s "Sick Rose"’, Eighteenth-Century Life, 22 (1998) 111-122.
‘Apocalypse and Ambivalence: The Politics of Millenarian Discourse in the 1790s’, South Atlantic Quarterly, 95 (1996) 671-697.

‘The Radical Enthusiasm of Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 14 (1991), 51-60.


Contracted and submitted to the editor:

  • with Sarah Haggarty, William Blake: Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794), Readers’ Guides series (Palgrave Macmillan).
  • ‘Rhetoric and belles lettres’, 3000 word essay for part 3 of the 4-part History of the Dissenting Academies, ed. Isabel Rivers, David Wykes, and Richard Whatmore (Cambridge University Press).
  •  ‘A good Cambrio-Briton’: Hester Thrale Piozzi, Helen Maria Williams, and the Welsh Sublime in the 1790s’ for "Footsteps of Liberty and Revolt": Essays on Wales and the French Revolution, ed. Mary-Ann Constantine and Dafydd Johnston (University of Wales Press, forthcoming 2013).
  • 'Morals, Manners and Liberty: British Radicals and Perceptions of America in the 1790s' in The American Experiment and the Idea of Democracy in British Culture, 1776-1914, ed. Ella Dzelzainis and Ruth Livesey (Ashgate, forthcoming 2013).
  • ‘The Novel and the War of Ideas, 1790-1804’ in Oxford History of the Novel in English, general editor Patrick Parrinder, Volume 2, ed. Peter Garside and Karen O’Brien (Oxford University Press).
  • ‘The Revolutionary Decade' for The Oxford Handbook to British Romanticism, ed. David Duff (Oxford University Press).
  • ‘The Buzz about The Bee: Periodicals and the Idea of the Conversation of Culture at the end of the Eighteenth Century,’ in Before Blackwood’s: Scottish Journalism in the Age of Enlightenment, ed. Alex Benchimol, Rhona Brown and David E. Shuttleton (Pickering and Chatto).

Currently in preparation:

  • The Laurel of Liberty: Print, Publicity and Radicalism in London, 1792-5. Monograph to be submitted to Cambridge University Press. Research funded by current AHRC fellowship.


jon Mee staff


Contact Details

Room K/G74
Telephone: 01904 324986
Department: English and Related Literature