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Professor Tom Mole


Principal of Van Mildert College
Professor (p/t) in the Department of English Studies


Tom Mole is Professor of English Literature and Book History and Principal of Van Mildert College. He is a Fellow of the English Association and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He has worked at the University of Bristol, University of Glasgow, and at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he was principal investigator of the Interacting with Print Research Group. Before coming to Durham he was Director of the Centre for the History of the Book at the University of Edinburgh. He is a specialist in Romantic and nineteenth-century poetry.

His book Byron’s Romantic Celebrity (2007), which won the Elma Dangerfield Prize from the International Byron Society in 2009, argued that Lord Byron should be understood as one of the first examples of modern celebrity culture and one of its most astute critics. He followed this by editing a collection of essays, Romanticism and Celebrity Culture (2009), which brought together twelve scholars to articulate a broad approach to the history of celebrity. 

 With Michelle Levy, he co-edited The Broadview Reader in Book History (2014) and The Broadview Introduction to Book History (2017). His latest book is The Secret Life of Books (2019), a book about all the things we do to books and all the things they do to us.

He is also the author of What the Victorians Made of Romanticism (2017), which won the Saltire Award for best research book of 2017, and was highly commended for the DeLong Prize from the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing. It offers a new reception history of Romanticism, based in material culture and book history, which examines the material artefacts and cultural practices that introduced Romantic authors to new generations of readers.

Supervision students