Timothy Milnes


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Romantic literature and philosophy; Enlightenment Studies; Literature and Culture of the Long Eighteenth Century.

Personal profile


Professor Tim Milnes obtained his MA in English and Philosophy from St Andrews University (1992) and his DPhil from St Hugh's College, Oxford (1997). While still a doctoral student he was a Lecturer in English at Christ Church University College, Canterbury (1995-98). From 1998 to 2001 he was British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at University College, Oxford. He has published articles on Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Jeremy Bentham, William Hazlitt, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Wordsworth, and Charles Lamb, and is the author of The Testimony of Sense: Empiricism and the Essay from Hume to Hazlitt (Oxford University Press, 2019), The Truth about Romanticism: Pragmatism and Idealism in Keats, Shelley, Coleridge (Cambridge University Press, 2010), Knowledge and Indifference in English Romantic Prose (Cambridge University Press, 2003), and William Wordsworth: The Prelude (Palgrave, 2009). He is also the co-editor, with Kerry Sinanan, of Romanticism, Sincerity, and Authenticity (Palgrave, 2010) and is a consulting editor for the journal Hazlitt Studies.

Research Interests

Professor Milnes welcomes research proposals at MScR or PhD level on any aspect of romantic literature and culture, as well as projects on the 'long' eighteenth century, particularly those pursuing an interdisciplinary approach. He has supervised PhD and MScR projects on topics such as Byron and the book trade, Wordsworth and education, romanticism and genre, the Lyrical Ballads and the German tour of 1798-99, romantic confessional literature, romantic concepts of space and performativity, and the idea of China in late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century literature.

Research activity

Dr Milnes has recently published The Testimony of Sense: Empiricism and the Essay from Hume to Hazlitt (Oxford University Press, 2019), the research for which was partly funded by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship. He is currently working on a study of the relationship between literature and waste in the Romantic period.


Postgraduate Teaching

  • The Literary Absolute (MSc Option)

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Literature in the Age of Terror (Year 4 Autumn Core)
  • Ideology and Literature (Year 3 Autumn Option)
  • Metaphysics and Melancholy: Literature/Philosophy 1689-1764 (Year 3 Spring Core)
  • Romanticism: Themes, Genres and Contexts (year 3 Spring Core)


Education/Academic qualification

English Literature, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Kant and the Paradoxes of Creation in English Romantic Prose, University of Oxford

Award Date: 30 Nov 1997

English Literature and Philosophy, Master of Arts, University of St Andrews

Award Date: 30 Jun 1992


  • PR English literature
  • Romanticism
  • enlightenment
  • Prose
  • intellectual and cultural history


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