Professor Alan Downie

Alan’s interests range from Early Modern literature and politics, and the history of the book, newspapers and pamphlets.

Staff details

Professor Alan Downie


Emeritus Professor of English


English and Creative Writing


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BA (Hons), MLitt, PhD, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Stott Fellow, University of Wales, 1975-7; Lecturer in English Literature, Leeds University, 1977-8; appointed Goldsmiths College, 1978.


  • Detective Story to Crime Fiction
  • Engaging Poetry
  • Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature

Areas of supervision

  • The novel, especially between 1660 and 1820
  • Detective/crime fiction
  • Literature and politics between 1590 and 1832
  • Satire

Publications and research outputs


Downie, Alan (J. A.) . 2015. Jonathan Swift: Political Writer (Routledge Revivals). London: Taylor and Francis. ISBN 978-1-13-881309-0

Downie, Alan (J. A.) . 2009. A Political Biography of Henry Fielding. London, UK: Pickering & Chatto. ISBN 9781851969159

Downie, Alan (J. A.) . 2008. Robert Harley and the press: propaganda and public opinion in the age of Swift and Defoe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521070744

Edited Book

Downie, J. A., ed. 2016. The Oxford Handbook of the Eighteenth-Century Novel. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 970-0-19-956674-7

Downie, Alan (J. A.) , ed. 2008. Henry Fielding In Our Time: Papers Presented at the Tercentenary Conference. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 9781847189875

Downie, Alan (J. A.) and Parnell, Tim, eds. 2006. Constructing Christopher Marlowe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521030519

Book Section

Downie, Alan (J. A.) . 2018. ‘The best of Poets in that age’: Christopher Marlowe’s Posthumous Reputation. In: Kirk Melnikoff and Roslyn L. Knutson, eds. Christopher Marlowe, Theatrical Commerce, and the Book Trade. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 258-271. ISBN 9781107126206

Downie, Alan (J. A.) . 2015. Authorial Contexts: Connections between Fielding's Novels and His Legal and Journalistic Writing. In: Jennifer Preston Wilson and Elizabeth Kraft, eds. Approaches to Teaching the Novels of Henry Fielding. 139 New York: The Modern Language Association of America, pp. 48-53. ISBN 978-1-60329-223-8

Downie, Alan (J. A.) . 2013. Printing for the Author in the Long Eighteenth Century. In: Sandro Jung, ed. British Literature and Print Culture. 2013 London: Boydell & Brewer, pp. 58-77. ISBN 978-1-84384-343-6


Downie, Alan (J. A.) . 2014. The Chronology of Mansfield Park. Modern Philology, 112(2), pp. 427-434. ISSN 0026-8232

Downie, Alan (J. A.) . 2014. Paying for Poetry at the Turn of the Eighteenth Century, with Particular Reference to Dryden, Pope, and Defoe. Digital Defoe, 6(1), pp. 1-18. ISSN 1948-1802

Downie, Alan (J. A.) . 2013. Defoe's Birth. The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats, 45(2), pp. 225-230.

Research Interests

My research interests range from literature and politics c. 1590 to c. 1832, including the history of the book, newspapers, and pamphlets to the early novel, and Defoe, Swift, and the Scriblerian satirists. I have recently published on Christopher Marlowe, Henry Fielding and Jane Austen. Currently, I am editing The Oxford Handbook of the Eighteenth-Century Novel.