John Batchelor was educated at The King's School, Canterbury, and at Cambridge (and at the University of New Brunswick, in Canada). After the Cambridge Ph D he was a lecturer at Birmingham University, then a Fellow of New College, Oxford, and for the last phase of his career he was the Joseph Cowen Professor of English Literature at Newcastle University and is now an Emeritus Professor of that University. He has also been a visiting Professor at the University of South Florida, at the Jagellonian University in Krakow, Poland, and at Lancaster University's Ruskin Centre. Many of his books have been on academic themes (they include a literary history, The Edwardian Novelists, and short critical studies of Joseph Conrad, H.G.Wells and Virginia Woolf) but his first book was a biography of the writer and artist Mervyn Peake, and in his last four books (Joseph Conrad, John Ruskin, Lady Trevelyan and most recently Tennyson)he has returned to biography.
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