Professor Martin Stannard

stannard, martinBA (Warwick), MA (Sussex), DPhil (Oxford), FRLS, FEA

Professor of Modern English Literature

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Research Interests

Martin Stannard has published extensively on Evelyn Waugh, following The Critical Heritage (1984) with a major biography in two volumes (1986 and 1992). The first volume was selected by the New York Times as one of the twelve best books of the year; the second by Frank Kermode, Jonathan Raban, William Trevor and Muriel Spark as one of their ‘Books of the Year’, and in the year 2000 by William Boyd as one of his TLS ‘Books of the Millennium’.

In August 2009 Prof. Stannard published his biography of Muriel Spark to great critical acclaim from, among others, Jonathan Bate, John Carey, Katherine Hughes, Frank Kermode, David Lodge, Ferdinand Mount, Ian Rankin, Elaine Showalter, A. N. Wilson and Frances Wilson. He has also published essays and review-essays on Kingsley Amis, Michael Arlen, Dickens, Ford Madox Ford, David Garnett, Graham Greene, William Gerhardie, Christopher Isherwood, David Jones, and Philip Larkin, and on the subjects of textual criticism, biography, autobiography and letters.

In 1995 he published the Norton Critical Edition of Ford’s The Good Soldier, an experiment in textual editing which includes material engaging with the challenge of literary theory to traditional editorial practice, and with the phenomenon of ‘literary impressionism’. The second, revised edition of this book appeared in 2011.

Currently he is Co-Executive Editor of OUP's 42-volume scholarly edition of The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh, and Principal Investigator for a £822,000 AHRC grant supporting the project. Martin will edit Waugh's Vile Bodies for this edition, to be published in 2016. He is also researching a new biography of Ford Madox Ford which will concentrate on his last decade (1929-1939) and on his relationship with his last partner, the young American painter Janice Biala. 

Martin’s broad research interests are in British Catholic convert fiction, biography and non-fiction generally, and in the theory and practice of textual editing. He has served as a member of the Management Committee of the Society of Authors, is on the organising committee of the annual Literary Leicester festival here, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the English Association, and is a Vice-President of the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society.

Projects

Current Postgraduate Supervision

Martin has supervised PhD theses on: James Joyce and Dante; H G Wells; an edition of Ford Madox Ford's poems; Ford and Literary Impressionism; Simon Raven; Aldous Huxley and Postcolonialism; Philip Larkin, R.S. Thomas and Charles Causley. He is currently supervising two doctorates: one on Evelyn Waugh and the concept of decadence, the other on Waugh, Greene and Spark and their representation of childhood.

He would be happy to supervise any topic in the following areas:

  • 20th-century British Catholic Writing (e.g. Greene, Spark, Waugh, etc.)
  • Philip Larkin 
  • 20th-century Non-Fiction
  • Modernism
  • Modern literature and aesthetics/theology
  • The theory of biography
  • Modern Scholarly Editing

Teaching and Administration

Recent Publications

Books

Second, revised edition of The Good Soldier (Norton, 2011).

Muriel Spark: The Biography (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2009; Norton 2010), 627 pp.

General Editor with Prof. Greg Walker of thirty-seven volume series, Studies in European Cultural Transition (Ashgate: 2000 - 2007).

Articles and Reviews

‘Venice Observed: East Meets West in Muriel Spark’s Territorial Rights’ in Kirsten Sandrock and Owain Wright (eds.), East and West in British-Italian Transactions (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2013), pp. 169-180.

‘Mapping No-Man’s Land’, lead-review of Thomas Dilworth, David Jones in the Great War (Enitharmon Press, 2013), Tablet, 26 January 2013, p. 21.

‘Going South for Air: Ford Madox Ford’s Provence’ in Dominique Lemarchal and Claire Davison-Pégon (eds.), Ford Madox Ford, France and Provence (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2011), pp. 343-50 

 ‘The Good, The Bad and The Numinously Co-Mingling’, review of David Herman (ed.), Muriel Spark: Twenty-First Century Perspectives (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 2010) in Scottish Literary Review, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Autumn/Winter 2011), pp.242-45. 

‘Unlucky Jim’, review-essay of Anthony Thwaite (ed.), Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica (London: Faber and Faber in association with the Bodleian Library, 2010), New Walk, Vol. 2 (Spring/Summer 2011), pp. 17-19. 

‘Muriel Spark’, New DNB Supplement (Jan. 2010).

‘Cutting Remarks: What Went Missing From The Good Soldier’, in Jason Harding (ed.), Ford Madox Ford, Modernist Magazines and Editing (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2010), pp. 229-42.

‘Meeting Muriel Spark’, Sunday Times, Books, 26 July, 2009, 8-9 .

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