Professor emeritus

Room: MHN 316
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 1151
Work E-mail:

Ina Ferris


My current project builds out of the interest in literary outliers that sparked my most recent book, Bookmen, Book Clubs and the Romantic Literary Sphere, which re-read the tangled relations of book culture and literary culture in the early nineteenth century by restoring to view the figure of the bookman and the effaced history of his book clubs. I am now developing this interest in another direction by looking more specifically at figures dependent on/trained in the printing trades who turned to print themselves, taking up authorship and publishing books in areas not directly related to their trades. At issue is the question of how they understood what it meant to be an author. Inherent in the act of publication is a claim to public attention. How did these figures sustain their claim? Where did they locate their authority? And how might their authorial practices and genres serve to reconfigure some of the standard stratifications that have shaped the literary field?

University degrees

PhD, English Literature, University of California, Los Angeles
MA, English Literature, University of Toronto 
BA, English Literature, University of Toronto

Fields of interest

  • Romantic literature
  • Print culture/book history
  • History of the novel


Distinguished Scholar Award, Keats-Shelley Association of America (2015)

Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (elected 2008)

Honorable Mention Award 2003, Robert Rhodes Prize for Books on Literature, American Conference for Irish Studies for The Romantic National Tale and The Question of Ireland

Professor of the Year 2003, Faculty of Arts, University of Ottawa

Keats-Shelley Association Prize (Best Article 1998) for “Writing on the Border: Female Writing and the Public Sphere”

The Achievement of Literary Authority (Cornell UP, 1991) designated an “Outstanding Academic Book of 1992" in Choice

Selected publications

Books and edited volumes

Bookmen, Book Clubs and the Romantic Literary Sphere. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

The Romantic National Tale and the Question of Ireland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

The Achievement of Literary Authority: Gender, History, and the Waverley Novels. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991.

William Makepeace Thackeray. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1983.

(ed.) Charlotte Smith. The Old Manor House. Volume 6 of Collected Works of Charlotte Smith. General Ed. Stuart Curran. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2006.

(ed.) Rayland Hall. Camarillo: Zittaw Press, 2006.

(ed.) Romantic Libraries. Special Issue of Romantic Circles-Praxis (Feb 2004)

(co-ed, with Paul Keen)  Bookish Histories: Books, Literature and Commercial Modernity 1700-1850. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

Recent articles and book chapters

"Recovering the Country Book Club", Sociable Places: Locating Culture in Romantic Britain, ed. Kevin Gilmartin, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2016 (in press)

“Authorizing the Novel: Scott’s Historical Fiction,” Oxford Handbook of the Eighteenth-Century Novel. Ed. Alan Downie. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016 (in press).

“Historical Romance,” Oxford History of the Novel in English, Vol 2 (1750-1820). Ed. Peter Garside and Karen O’Brien. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, 296-311."Unhinging the Past: Joseph Strutt and the Antiquarian Poetics of the Piece", Romantic Antiquarianism, Romantic Circles:Praxis, June 2014 (web)

“’Before Our Eyes’: Romantic Historical Fiction and the Apparitions of Reading,” Representations 121.6 (Winter 2013): 60-84.

“The Debut of the Edinburgh Review, 1802” BRANCH: Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History. Web Oct 2012.

“Scott’s Authorship and Book Culture,” Edinburgh Companion to Scott. Ed. Fiona Robertson. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012. 9-21.

 “Book Fancy: Bibliomania and the Literary Word,” Keats-Shelley Journal 58 (2009): 33-52.

“’On the Borders of Oblivion’:  Scott’s Historical Novel and the Modern Time of the Remnant,” Modern Language Quarterly 70.4 (Dec 2009): 473-94.

“Popularizing the Public: Robert Chambers and the Rewriting of the Antiquarian City,” Romanticism and Popular Culture in Britain and Ireland.Ed. Nigel Leask and Philip Connell. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.  Pp. 177-93.

“Book-Love and the Remaking of Literary Culture in the Romantic Period,” Bookish Histories. Ed. Ferris & Keen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Pp. 111-125.

“The Irish Novel 1800-1829,” Cambridge Companion to Romantic Fiction. Ed. Richard Maxwell and Katie Trumpener. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Pp. 235-49.  

“Transformations of the Novel-II,” The Cambridge History of English Romantic Literature. Ed. James K. Chandler. Cambridge University Press, 2008. Pp. 473-89.

“Scholarly Revivals: Gothic Fiction, Secret History and Hogg’s Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner,” Recognizing the Romantic Novel: New Approaches to British Fiction, 1780-1832. Ed. Jill Heydt-Stevenson and Charlotte Sussman. Liverpool University Press, 2008.  Pp.231-248.

“Antiquarian Authorship: D’Israeli’s Miscellany of Literary Curiosity and the Question of Secondary Genres,” Studies in Romanticism 45 (Winter 2006): 523-42.

“The ‘Character’ of James the First and Antiquarian Secret History,”The Wordsworth Circle 37 (Spring 2006): 73-76.

“Melancholy, Memory and the ‘Narrative Situation’ of History in Post-Enlightenment Scotland,” Scotland and the Borders of Romanticism. Ed. Leith Davis, Ian Duncan and Janet Sorensen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Pp. 77-93.

“Printing the Past: Walter Scott’s Bannatyne Club and the Antiquarian Document,” Romanticism 11.2 (2005): 143-60.

“Bibliographical Romance: Bibliophilia and the Book Object,” RomanticLibraries, Special Issue of Romantic Circles-Praxis (Feb 2004)

“Pedantry and the Scene of Enlightenment History: The Figure of the Antiquary,” European Romantic Review 13 (2002): 273-83.

Back to top