Professor Brian Vickers awarded Knighthood

Monday 7 January 2008

Date released 7 January 2008

School Fellow, Professor Brian Vickers, has been recognised by the Queen in the New Year Honours List for services to literary scholarship. 

Professor Vickers joined the School in 2003, when he was appointed a Distinguished Senior Fellow. In that year he also became a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of English Studies. Since being with us he has been awarded a five-year AHRC grant, based at the Institute, to edit The Complete Works of John Ford. This will be published in three volumes by Oxford University Press, with an online electronic concordance to be hosted by the School’s website, “SAS Space”. In 2005 Brian Vickers founded the London Forum for Authorship Studies, as part of the Institute’s Centre for Manuscript and Print Studies, where he also teaches classes on Shakespearian textual criticism for its M.A. course in the History of the Book.

His Knighthood recognises a lifetime of scholarly achievement. After a decade teaching at Cambridge University, Brian Vickers moved in 1972 to a Professorship at the University of Zürich. From 1975 to 2003 he held the Chair of English Literature at the ETH Zürich and directed the Centre for Renaissance Studies. During that time he co-founded the International Society for the History of Rhetoric, and served as its first President. In 1996 he received the Litt.D. degree from the University of Cambridge; in 1998 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. The University of Fribourg awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2003, and in 2007 he was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Professor Vickers is a prolific and well-respected writer. His book In Defence of Rhetoric won the Morris D Forkosch Prize in Intellectual History, awarded by The Journal of the History of Ideas. His Francis Bacon and Renaissance Prose of 1968 was followed by editions of Bacon's major English works for the 'Oxford Authors' series. Professor Vickers is perhaps best known for his writings on Shakespeare. His six- volume collection Shakespeare, the Critical Heritage 1621-1801 and The Artistry of Shakespeare's Prose (1968) have become standard works. In recent years Brian Vickers has been working on authorship contribution problems relating to Shakespeare, having published Counterfeiting Shakespeare. Evidence, Authorship and John Ford's "Funeral Elegye" (CUP, 2002) and Shakespeare "A Lover's Complaint" and John Davies of Hereford (CUP, 2007). His Shakespeare Co-Author. A Historical Study of Five Collaborative Plays (OUP, 2002) will be followed by a study of Shakespeare's interaction with George Peele and Thomas Kyd. He is a long standing contributor to the Times Literary Supplement.

For more information, please contact the Dean’s Office, School of Advanced Study on 020 7862 8659 /

The School of Advanced Study at the University of London brings together the specialised scholarship and resources of ten prestigious postgraduate research Institutes to offer academic opportunities across a wide range of subject fields in the humanities and social sciences.

The Institute of English Studies exists to facilitate advanced study and research in English Studies in the wider academic community, national and international, as well as within the University of London.

The Complete Works of John Ford is an AHRC-funded five-year project (2005-2010) based at the Institute of English Studies. It will produce an old-spelling edition of Ford's complete poems, prose works and plays.  

SAS-SPACE is the School’s permanent online archive for digital scholarly and research materials.