Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)


The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact: admin.imems@durham.ac.uk

Emeritus Professor Richard Maber, MA, DPhil (Oxon), FRHistS

Contact Emeritus Professor Richard Maber (email at r.g.maber@durham.ac.uk)


I read French and German at Wadham College, Oxford (1961-64), then after a brief spell as Junior Lecturer at Magdalen College (1965-66) I was offered a Lectureship in Durham in 1966 and have been here ever since, as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader, Professor, and now Emeritus Professor.

My principal fields of research are: (a) 17th-century intellectual history, particularly the international scholarly interchanges of the République des Lettres: I am currently engaged in the major project of editing the extensive correspondence of the French scholar, poet, and man of letters Gilles Ménage (1613-1692), for which I was awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Research Fellowship; (b) more specifically French literature, especially poetry, drama, and prose fiction; and (c) interdisciplinary 17th-century studies. My principal publications in these fields are listed below, along with articles published since 2005.

I am the founder (1985) and General Editor of the interdisciplinary journal The Seventeenth Century, now on Volume 31. The journal is currently published by Taylor & Francis Ltd. See: www.tandfonline.com/rsev .

I have supervised PhD and research MA students on a very wide range of subject-areas within the 17th century: on studies of French theatre, poetry, and correspondences, but also on topics as diverse as heraldic imagery in English poetry, English translations of French poetry, women in Jacobean drama, Algernon Sidney’s political thought, English radical theology, ghost-beliefs in early-modern England, and the marketing of English portrait prints in the later 17th century. In addition, I supervised and directed the work of c.90 students on the interdisciplinary taught MA in 17c Studies.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; Honorary Secretary of the Society for Early Modern French Studies (SEMFS); member of the Editorial Board of the North American Society for Seventeenth-Century French Literature (NASSCFL); member of the Équipe, CORECOL, (Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin / Institut de France); and Committee member of the Thomas Harriot Seminar (early modern science and intellectual history). I was a founding member of the Conseil d'administration, and founding Vice-Président of the Centre International de Rencontres sur le 17e Siècle (1990), and in 2012 directed their Colloque International, 'La France et l'Europe du nord au XVIIe siècle', in Durham Castle. In 2007 I was Visiting Professor at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.

I have organized and directed 25 international conferences, in the French Department, as Director of the University’s interdisciplinary Centre for 17th-Century Studies 1989-2009, and as Secretary of SEMFS since 2006.

Within the University, I am a committee member of the Friends of Palace Green Library, and Editor of the Friends’ Newsletter.

My other research interests include: i) the international diffusion of medieval travel literature: with my wife, Angela Tregoning, I have published a comparative study of the early Latin, Italian, French, German, and English versions of the voyage to China (c. 1316-1330) of Odoric of Pordenone; ii) the Diary of the Victorian curate Francis Kilvert (1840-1879), one of the most delightful and best-loved of all English diaries: I have published, also with Angela Tregoning, the first complete edition of one of only three surviving original notebooks, which is preserved in Durham University Library Special Collections; iii) Cornish language and literature, particularly of the Late Cornish period: I have published a study of the prosody and dating of a 17th-century englyn, and also a discovery of a 17th-century manuscript comparing versions of the Lord’s Prayer and Creed in Cornish, Welsh, and Breton.


1985-2016 (ongoing): The Seventeenth Century, founder and General Editor Richard Maber, published by Taylor & Francis Ltd., 4 issues a year, currently on volume 31

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2008: Committee Member: since 1985, of the Thomas Harriot Seminar: early modern science and intellectual history.
  • 2008: General Editor of the journal The Seventeenth Century since 1985:
  • 2007: Fellow of the Royal Historical Society:
  • 2007: Member of the Editorial Board of the North American Society for Seventeenth-Century French Literature (NASSCFL):
  • 2007: Visiting Professor at the University of Kansas, Lawrence:
  • 2006: Honorary Secretary of the Society for 17th-Century French Studies:
  • 1990: Founding Member: of the Conseil d'administration, and founding Vice-Président, Centre International de Rencontres sur le 17e Siècle. 2012: Director of the CIR 17 Colloque International, 'La France et l'Europe du nord au XVIIe siècle', Durham Castle

Research Interests

  • 17th-century French literature and intellectual history
  • International learned correspondences in the 17th century
  • Interdisciplinary 17th-century studies
  • Medieval travel literature
  • Francis Kilvert's diary
  • Celtic languages and literatures (middle and late Cornish)

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Maber, Richard (Forthcoming). ‘« Les hommes inspirés ont droit d’aller par tout » esthétique de la « poésie morale » chez Pierre Le Moyne’. In Morales du poème à l’âge classique. Génetiot, Alain Classiques Garnier.
  • Maber, Richard (Forthcoming). ‘« Sans estre bien malheureux, on ne peut estre qu’un Héros [ou une Héroïne] fort médiocre » les femmes fortes du Père Le Moyne et l’idéal de l’héroïsme dans la souffrance’. In Héroïsme féminin, héroïnes et femmes illustres, XVIe et XVIIe siècles Une représentation sans fiction. Schrenk, Gilbert, Spica, Anne-Élisabeth & Thouvenin, Pascale Classiques Garnier.
  • Maber, Richard (Forthcoming). ‘Gilles Ménage et les origines de l’affaire Pierre de Montmaur’. In L’affaire Pierre de Montmaur. Barbafieri, Carine & Civardi, Jean-Marc
  • Maber, Richard (Forthcoming). ‘Guiding Light: the early modern lighthouse as image and emblem’. In From the Lighthouse: an experiment in interdisciplinarity. Strang, Veronica & Edensor, Tim Taylor & Francis.
  • Maber, Richard (Forthcoming). ‘La correspondance d’Antoine Galland dans le contexte des réseaux d’information internationaux’. In Antoine Galland, 1646-1715, Mémoires de l’Association pour la Promotion de l’Histoire et de l’Archéologie Orientales. Bauden, Frédéric & Waller, Richard Peeters.
  • Maber, Richard (Forthcoming). ‘Sustainability and reciprocity in nature and the state: early modern French perspectives’. In Environment, Identity and History. Mukherjee, Ayesha Routledge.
  • Maber, Richard (2016). ‘Les érudits français et l’Allemagne au XVIIe siècle’. In La France et l’Europe du nord au XVIIe siècle. Maber, Richard Gunter Narr.
  • Maber, Richard (2012). ‘No Miracles Please, We’re English’ [on 16-17c accounts of Thomas More’s death]. In Evocations of Eloquence: rhetoric, literature and religion in early modern France. Essays in honour of Peter Bayley. Hammond, Nicholas & Moriarty, Michael Oxford: Peter Lang. 147-160.
  • Maber, Richard G. (2011). The Sun King and his subjects: reciprocity in a commonplace of power. In Authority & Persuasion: The Role of Commonplaces in Western Europe (c1450-c1800), II: Consolidation of Godgiven Power. Banks, Kathryn & Bossier, Philiep Peeters Publishers. 40: XX + 211.
  • Maber, Richard G. (2010). Texts, Travel and Flying Machines: The Lost World of 17th-Century Scholarship. In Collaboration and Interdisciplinarity in the Republic of Letters: Essays in Honour of Richard G. Maber. Scott, Paul Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. 227-248.
  • Maber, Richard G. & Tregoning, Angela. (2008). Conveying the Unimaginable: Odoric of Pordenone's Travels and their Vernacular Translations. In Travels and Travelogues in the Middle Ages. Kosta-Théfaine, J.-F. New York: AMS Press.
  • Maber, Richard G. (2008). The Fruits of Exile: Anglican Scholars and their French Books. In NASSCFL Acta, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2007. Carr, Thomas & Ganim, Russell Gunter Narr Verlag.
  • Maber, Richard G. (2007). 'Il faut écrire à la moderne.': practical criticism and literary controversy after the death of Malherbe. In Theatre, Fiction, and Poetry in the French Long Seventeenth Century / Le Théâtre, le roman, et la poésie à l'âge classique. Brooks, William & Zaiser, Rainer Oxford/Bern: Peter Lang. 2: 199-214.
  • Maber, Richard G. (2007). John Cosin's French Library. In Treasures of Durham University Library. Gameson, Richard. London: Third Millennium Publishing. 108-109.
  • Maber, Richard G. (2007). Kilvert's Diary. In Treasures of Durham University Library. Gameson, Richard London: Third Millennium Publishing. 132-133.

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Selected Grants

  • 2008: Leverhulme Emeritus Research Fellowship
  • 2007: British Academy Overseas Conference Grant
  • 2005: AHRC Research Leave Award
  • 2005: British Academy Small Research Grant