Nicholas von Maltzahn


Nicholas von Maltzahn
Professor, Department of English

ARTS 355
Tel.: 613-562-5800 ext. 1213

Nicholas von Maltzahn


Member of MLA, ACCUTE, Milton Society of America, Marvell Society

Member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and thereby authorized to supervise theses.

For current course descriptions, see the graduate and undergraduate brochures in the Programs of Study section of this site

John Milton and Andrew Marvell are at the center of my work, where I look at what happens when Baroque poetics encounter Enlightenment aesthetics. My exploration of Milton, Marvell, and toleration focuses on those writers’ different legacies to later liberalism. My interest lies in a set of problems arising where religious and political persuasion or even coercion intersect with the category “literature” as it develops in this period. This study has grown out of my longer work on the reception of Milton’s works to ca. 1780. My scholarly editions in progress are Milton’s tracts on religious liberty (volume 4 of the Oxford UP Works of John Milton), and Andrew Marvell’s letters (a projected volume 3 of the Yale UP Prose Works of Andrew Marvell).

University degrees

1986 – DPhil, English, Oxford University 
1980 – AB, English, Harvard University

Fields of interest

  • Seventeenth-century literature
  • Literature and religion
  • Scholarly editing
  • History of the book


2002-03 George M. Whalley Visiting Professor of English, Queen’s University 
1998- Professor, English, University of Ottawa 
1993-98 Associate Professor, English, University of Ottawa 
1987-93 Assistant Professor, English, University of Ottawa 
1983-87 Part-time lecturer and tutor, Lincoln College, Oxford University


  • Executive Committee Member, Milton Society of America (2007-9)
  • President, Andrew Marvell Society (2006-8)
  • Editorial board member, Milton Quarterly (2003- )
  • Graduate Director, English Department, University of Ottawa (1999-2001)
  • Undergraduate Director, English Department, University of Ottawa (1995-1997)
  • Member of many committees, especially at the departmental and faculty level, University of Ottawa.


Books authored

An Andrew Marvell Chronology. London: Palgrave, 2005.

Milton’s History of Britain: Republican Historiography in the English Revolution. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1991.


Andrew Marvell, An Account of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government. Ed. Nicholas von Maltzahn. In The Prose Works of Andrew Marvell. Gen. ed. Annabel Patterson. New Haven: Yale UP, 2003. Vol. II. 177-378.

Recent articles and chapters in books

"An Early Comment on Milton's Poems (1645)." Milton Quarterly (March 2014): in press.

“Marvell’s Indian Poison-Pot.” Notes and Queries 60.4 (Dec 2013): 535-37.

“Marvell’s Brahmin Stallion.” Andrew Marvell Newsletter 5 (2013): 17-19.

“Andrew Marvell, the Lord Maynard, and the Ballastage Office.” The Seventeenth Century 28 (2013): 311-21.

“Milton and the deist prelude to liberalism.” In Milton, Historicism, and Questions of Tradition. Eds. Feisal Mohamed and Mary Nyquist. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2012. 215-49. Essay awarded the James Holly Hanford Award (2013) of the Milton Society of America.

Nicholas von Maltzahn and Rory Tanner, “Marvell’s ‘Maniban’ in manuscript.” Review of English Studies 63 (2012): 762-78.

“Adversarial Marvell.” In The Cambridge Companion to Marvell. Eds. Steven Zwicker and Derek Hirst. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010. 174-93.

“Marvell’s Restoration Garden.” Marvell Newsletter 1 (2009): 1-3.

“John Milton: the later life (1641-1674).” In The Milton Handbook. Eds. Nigel Smith and Nicholas McDowell. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. 26-48.

“Marvell and Maniban.” Explorations in Renaissance Culture 35 (2009): 14-26.

“Liberalism or Apocalypse? John Milton and Andrew Marvell.” In English Now. Ed. Marianne Thormählen. Lund, Lund Studies in English, 2008. 44-58.

“Death by Drowning: Marvell’s ‘Lycidas.’” Milton Studies 48 (2008): 38-52.

“L’Estrange’s Milton.” In Roger L’Estrange and the Making of Restoration Culture. Eds. Beth Lynch and Anne Dunan-Page. London: Ashgate, 2008. 27-54. 

“Ruining the Sacred Truths? Marvell’s Milton and Cultural Memory.” InWriting and Religion in England, 1558-1689: Studies in Community-Making and Cultural Memory. Eds. Anthony W. Johnson and Roger D. Sell. London: Ashgate, 2009. 367-86. 

“Milton, Marvell, and Toleration.” In Milton and Toleration. Eds. Sharon Achinstein and Elizabeth Sauer. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. 86-104. 

“Making use of the Jews: Milton and philosemitism.” In Milton and the Jews. Ed. Douglas Brooks. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2008. 57-82. 

“Milton: Nation and Reception.” In Early Modern Nationalism and Milton’s England. Eds. Paul Stevens and David Loewenstein. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2008. 401-42.

“The London whale of 1658.” Times Literary Supplement 5366 (3 February 2006): 13. 

Entries for “Influence,” “Brief History of Moscovia,” “Letters of State,” “Digression in the History of Britain,” and “Character of the Long Parliament.” In The Milton Encyclopedia. Ed. Tom Corns. New Haven: Yale UP, 2012.

Theses supervised

Neal Hackler, "Reading Rakes and Scoundrels in Restoration England" (PhD current).

Neal Hackler, "From Stage to Page: Restoration Theatre and the Prose of Andrew Marvell" (MA).

Rory Tanner, “Roger Crab and the Rhetoric of Reclusion” (MA).

Rory Tanner, “Parliament, Partisanship, and the Reading Public, 1640-1680” (PhD).

Phillip Donnelly, “Interpretation and Violence: Reason, Narrative and Religious Toleration in the Works of John Milton” (PhD).

Dorothy Turner, “Roger L’Estrange and the Print Culture of the Restoration” (PhD).

Courses taught

Graduate seminars
  • Restoration? Literature and its discontents in the reign of Charles II
  • Milton and Marvell
  • Milton and his Readers
  • States of Nature: Some Early Modern Literary Anthropologies  
Undergraduate courses

ENG1122 English literature before 1700 
ENG3339 Sixteenth-century English literature 
ENG3340 Seventeenth-century English literature 
ENG3350 Eighteenth-century English literature

More broadly

Milton and Marvell’s prose works have engaged me most as a scholar; their poetry lies at the heart of my teaching, chiefly of English literature from Spenser to Defoe. I like to work where the disciplines of English and History meet.