Research

Having completed a quintet of biographies of some of my top writers — Shakespeare, Wordsworth, John Clare, Ted Hughes & Sylvia Plath, William Hazlitt — I am now writing a “parallel life” of two other favourites, John Keats and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and am working on a “bibliomemoir” with Shakespeare at its centre, along with cameo roles from Samuel Johnson, Charles and Mary Lamb, Emily Dickinson, Edward Thomas, Virginia Woolf, Vladimir Nabokov and Robert Lowell.

Bright Star, Green Light: The Beautiful Works and Damned Lives of John Keats and F. Scott Fitzgerald will, health permitting, be published in 2021 by William Collins in the UK and Yale University Press in North America.

I am also in the early stages of a transhistorical global study that will be on the borderline between literary analysis, theology and cultural anthropology, provisionally entitled The Sacred Earth: Religion, Art and the Fate of the Planet. A foretaste of a few of its ideas may be glimpsed in my public lectures for the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University on How the Humanities can save the Planet.

JB