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Ros Ballaster

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Ros Ballaster
Academic Position:
Professor of 18th Century Studies, CUF Lecturer and Tutorial Fellow
Research Interests:
Literature 1500-1800; the novel; Restoration and Georgian theatre; women’s writing; have taught special author options on Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, John Dryden, Eliza Haywood, Jane Austen, Lord Byron

Professor Ros Ballaster possesses a continuing interest in the representation and construction of the engagement with story as an ethical experience from the late seventeenth century to the mid nineteenth century, especially in the popular novel and in the theatre. She is working to develop a project which will pay attention to the interaction with and role of the theatre in the invention of the ‘novel’ over this period. Her intention here would not simply be to consider the use of novel plots as sources for plays but the presence of theatrical models of character, action and affect in the novel of the long eighteenth century, apprenticeships and continuing engagements with the theatre by more or less successful novelists. A related project concerns Professor Ballaster's attempt to construct a history of the idea of ‘candid’ (as opposed to ‘skeptical’) reading in literary, political and popular writings over the same period. She is interested in supervising doctoral students working in eighteenth-century women's writing, the fiction of fantasy in the same period (oriental fiction, fairy tales), the early novel.

Recent Publications

  • ed. The History of British Women's Writing, 1690 - 1750: Volume Four History of British Women’s Writing (Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). Incl. two essays by Ros Ballaster. ‘Introduction’ ,1-19 and ‘Critical Review’, 235-251.
  • ‘The Eastern Tale and the Candid Reader: Tristram Shandy, Candide, Rasselas’, in L’attrait de l’Orient/The Call of the East, special ed. proceedings of Colloque tenu en Sorbonne – 22-23 janvier 2010 of XVII-XVIII 67 (2010), 109-126. ISSN 0291-379.
  • The History of British Women's Writing, 1690 - 1750: Volume Four (History of British Women's Writing) ed. Ros Ballaster (Palgrave, September 2010).
# Title Description Contributor
1 Brighton Ambitious: Some Fragments, a play by Maria Edgeworth

A performance of the play, Brighton Ambitious: Some Fragments, by Maria Edgeworth.

Ellen B. Brewster, Ros Ballaster
# Title Description Contributor
1 Oriental Tales and Their Influence

Prof. Warner and Prof. Ballaster begin their conversation with Antoine Galland's translation...

Ros Ballaster, Marina Warner
2 Why should we study Johnson?

Professor Ros Ballaster of Mansfield College, Oxford, discusses her current research and...

Ros Ballaster, Sarah Wilkin
3 Oriental Tales and Their Influence

Prof. Warner and Prof. Ballaster begin their conversation with Antoine Galland's...

Ros Ballaster, Marina Warner
4 The Lure of the East: the Oriental and Philosophical Tale in Eighteenth-Century England

Professor Ros Ballaster discusses the objectives of oriental tales published in the second half...

Ros Ballaster
# Essay Title Description Contributor
1 Celebrating women's writing: the pen in their hands

In the 1980s feminism changed the study of literature forever when it challenged what we term...

Ros Ballaster
2 Exhibiting Maria Edgeworth and Her Fellow Literary Lions

There are three researchers responsible for ‘Opening the Edgeworth Papers’ from the Faculty of...

Ros Ballaster, Ben Wilkinson-Turnbull
3 Brighton Ambitious: Some Fragments

Brighton Ambitious: Some Fragments

an unpublished play by Maria...

Ellen B. Brewster, Ros Ballaster
4 Maria Edgeworth - A biographical note.

Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849).

A Biographical Note

Ros Ballaster
5 Fakiry: The Oriental Tale

In 1908, Martha Pike Conant commented that:

"Historians of English...

Ros Ballaster
6 The Passion for Tales: an Introduction to Ros Ballaster’s Fabulous Orients (2005)

Ros Ballaster writing about her book Fabulous Orients and Fables of the East,...

Ros Ballaster
7 Key works on the oriental tale. Recommended references

A short bibliography of modern critical works
By Ros Ballaster

Ros Ballaster
# Resource Title Description Contributor
1 A Play in Fragments by Maria Edgeworth - A Surviving Manuscript

The surviving manuscript of an unpublished play by Maria Edgeworth c.1811, found in MS Eng misc...

Ellen B. Brewster, Ros Ballaster