Dr Henry Power
Telephone: 01392 724254
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I started life - or academic life, anyway - as a classicist. When I went to Oxford in 1997, it was to study Greek and Latin (or Literae Humaniores, as they insisted on calling it). But I soon realised that what really excited me about ancient texts was the way they had been read and re-made in the modern world. So I switched to Classics and English. After a BA in Classics and English (2001) and an Mst in Greek and Latin Literature (2002), I went to Cambridge to write a PhD on the classical sources of Henry Fielding's great novel, Tom Jones.
Most of my work since then has been concerned with the reception of classical texts and ideas by English (or English-speaking) authors. I have a particular interest in English Literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but I also write about (and teach) recent and contemporary literature; one current research project is on the Homeric translations of Christopher Logue (1926-2011).
After leaving Cambridge in 2005 I was briefly a research fellow at the Institute of Greece, Rome, and the Classical Tradition at the University of Bristol. I was then awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, which allowed me to spend time thinking about the reception of the Roman poet Virgil during the English Civil War (there's more on this under Research). Since 2007 I have been teaching at the University of Exeter.
In 2015, I published Epic into Novel, a book which looks at the way classical literature was consumed in the first half of the eighteenth-century. I have recently been commissioned by Oxford University Press to edit the prose works of the eighteenth-century statesman and classicist, Joseph Addison. This edition will be the major focus of my research over the next four years. Addison is best known for writing periodicals such as the Tatler and the Spectator. This edition will present a number lesser known works, in which Addison writes for a general reader about the significance of classical art and literature.