Chancellor Professor of English
On Leave Spring 2016
Office: Tucker 118
Office Hours: By appointment
Background and Research and Teaching Interests.
My undergraduate degree is from Lawrence University; my M.A. and Ph.D. are from the University of Chicago. I also studied at the Sorbonne. My main research interests are in Victorian poetry, especially the nefariously subversive Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909). Here's my favorite poem by ACS: text; movie.
I've edited several lost works by William Sharp/Fiona Macleod and in editing a notebook of mostly unpublished poems by the winner of the 1887 Newdigate Prize at Oxford, Sidney A. Alexander, I have moved Alexander from oblivion to obscurity. T.A.J. Burnett and I and others have been invited to edit the Complete Poems of Swinburne, in five volumes, for Pickering and Chatto (the publishers of my three volumes of Swinburne's correspondence; supplement here). Publication anticipated in 2017.
I also have a research interest in local history and William and Mary history (especially, in conjunction with the Lemon Project, slavery at the College); I focus on the century forgotten (or, rather, erased) in Williamsburg-- the 19th Century. But I'm also working on the only poet who has ever been a president of William and Mary, William Dawson; on the 18th C. Bray School for black children, the subject of a recent archeological dig (more on the school here); on a 1773 letter by "Academicus" possibly by Jefferson; and on the Williamsburg years and poetry of Virginia Hamilton Adair, who taught briefly in the Department. I'm President of the Williamsburg Historic Records Association.
Aside from the Victorian Age course, I from time to time teach Modern British Literature and Advanced Expository Writing. The introductory survey, English 204, which covers 18th and 19th century British literature, is one of my favorites to teach.
My wife, Sheila, is a graduate of W&M, Class of '78, and the best ever real estate agent in Williamsburg. Our daughter, Deborah Boyle, is the Lightsey Professor of Philosophy at the College of Charleston, and our son, Blake Meyers, is with the Danforth Plant Science Center and is a professor in the Division of Plant Sciences at the University of Missouri--Columbia.