Dr Cathy Phillips
Fellow in English

R J Owens Fellow in English

BA (Queens), MA (Toronto), PhD, FEA

My interest is in the effect of cultural contexts on English literature of the last two centuries. Among my projects has been an edition of the manuscript drafts and revised versions of a play by W. B. Yeats that reflect his experience of the stage between 1903 and 1939 and his collaboration with such people as Edward Gordon Craig (Cornell Yeats series). A biography of Robert Bridges, medical doctor and poet laureate, grew out of curiosity about the effect of science on religious belief from the 1860s to the 1920s (Oxford University Press). I then completed the late A. J. Smith’s survey of the resuscitation of Donne’s reputation, plotting it against the rise of Modernism (Routledge: Critical Heritage series).

In the last few years I have also written about the political context of Bulwer Lytton’s classical study, Athens: its Rise and Fall and its importance for the evolving form of his novels (Associated University Presses), and on Tennyson’s fascination with Arthurian legends in his Idylls of the King (Victorian Poetry).

However, the writer to whom I have returned most often is Gerard Manley Hopkins, on whose work my publications include a monograph situating Hopkins’ knowledge and practice of art within a biographical and historical context (Oxford University Press) and studies of his influence on more recent poets.  Two volumes of his correspondence, co-edited with Professor R.K.R. Thornton, appeared in 2013 as part of Hopkins’ Complete Works (Oxford University Press, 8 vols.), and, generously funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, I am currently preparing an edition of his poems for the same series.

‘Poetry in the Making: the Case of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ in Poetry in the Making, edited by Daniel Tyler (OUP, forthcoming)

‘Gerard Manley Hopkins and Geoffrey Hill: a compound ghost’ in ‘The Fire that Breaks': Gerard Manley Hopkins's Poetic Legacies, edited by Daniel Westover and William Wright (Clemson University and Liverpool University Press, forthcoming)

(with R.K.R. Thornton), The Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins, vols. I and II (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), ciii + 1057 pp.  [awarded the MLA's Morton M. Cohen Award for a Distinguished Edition of Letters.]

Gerard Manley Hopkins and the Victorian Visual World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), xiii + 303 pp.

‘Gerard Manley Hopkins as religious conduit in Geoffrey Hill, George Mackay Brown and Edwin Muir’, in Ecstasy and Understanding: Religious Awareness in English Poetry from the Late Victorian to the Modern Period, edited by Adrian Grafe, Continuum Literary Studies (London: Continuum, 2008), 6-15.

‘W. B.Yeats and Resistance’ in Lines of Resistance: Essays on British Poetry from Thomas Hardy to Hugo Williams, edited by Adrian Grafe and Jessica Stephens (Jefferson, N. Carolina: McFarland, 2012), 166-178.

‘Christina Rossetti and Gerard Manley Hopkins’ in The Cambridge Guide to English Poetry, edited by Michael O’Neill (Cambridge University Press, 2010), 669-685.