Professor emeritus

Room: MHN 313
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 1160
Work E-mail:

Keith Wilson


Member Thomas Hardy Society, Thomas Hardy Association, International Association of University Professors of English, North American Victorian Studies Association (NAVSA), Victorian Studies Association of Ontario (VSAO), Society for Theatre Research, London Topographical Society, Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society.

My research and teaching interests relate primarily to 19th and 20th-century British Literature, with an ancillary interest in Victorian and Edwardian music hall. Much of my work has been, and continues to be, on Thomas Hardy, on whom I recently edited a volume for the Blackwell Companion series. I have also recently co-edited with Michael Millgate an 8th supplementary volume of Hardy’s Collected Letters (Oxford UP).  I am now editing Tess of the d’Urbervilles for the projected definitive Cambridge University Press edition of Hardy’s fiction.

University degrees

1973 – PhD, English, Queen’s University at Kingston 
1970 – MA, English, Cambridge University, Magdalene College 
1969 – MA, English, Queen’s University at Kingston 
1967 – BA, English, Cambridge University, Magdalene College

Fields of interest

  • Thomas Hardy
  • Representations of London
  • Victorian Literature
  • Modern British Literature
  • Contemporary British Literature
  • Victorian and Edwardian Music Hall


1990 - Full Professor, University of Ottawa 
1982-90 - Associate Professor, University of Ottawa 
1976-82 - Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa (tenured 1981) 
1974-76 - Sessional lecturer/instructor, Carleton University 
1972-74 - Lecturer, The Royal University of Malta

Selected scholarly and professional activities

President, Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE), 2004-2006; member of ACCUTE Executive, 2001-2002, 2003-2007; ACCUTE representative to General Assembly, Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS), 2003-2007.

President, Canadian Association of Chairs of English (CACE), 2001-2002; Secretary-Treasurer,CACE, 1998-2000.

Member, Board of Directors, CFHSS, 2003-2007 (two terms); member, Standing Committee on External Communications, CFHSS, 2003-2004; member, Standing Committee on Research Policy, CFHSS, 2004-2007.

Member, Adjudicating Committee 19, SSHRC Standard Research Grant Programme, 2006-2009.

Chair, Ontario Graduate Scholarship Selection Panels, 1997, 1998, 1999.

Vice-President, Thomas Hardy Society

Chair, Department of English, University of Ottawa, 1996-2002 (two terms).

Director of Graduate Studies, Department of English, University of Ottawa, 1985-87.

Editorial Boards: VictoriographiesEnglish Literature in TransitionEnglish Studies in Canada (1993-2008), Thomas Hardy Review.

External Consultant, Departmental Reviews: St. Mary’s University (2012), United Arab Emirates University (2012), Brock University (2009), Memorial University (2003), Laurentian University (2002), Université Laval (1996).


Books and edited volumes

The Collected Letters of Thomas Hardy: Volume VIII, co-edited with Michael Millgate, Oxford University Press, 2012.

(ed.) A Companion to Thomas Hardy. Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. (Contributors: Tim Armstrong, Penny Boumelha, J. B. Bullen, Pamela Dalziel, Tim Dolin, Roger Ebbatson, Simon Gatrell, William Greenslade, Margaret R. Higonnet, Michael Irwin, George Levine, Charles Lock, Phillip Mallett, J. Hillis Miller, Michael Millgate, William W. Morgan, Richard Nemesvari, Ralph Pite, Andrew Radford, Stephen Regan, Angelique Richardson, Mary Rimmer, Claire Seymour, Dennis Taylor, Jane Thomas, G. Glen Wickens, Peter Widdowson, Keith Wilson, Julian Wolfreys, Terry R. Wright). Paperback edition, 2013.

(ed.) Thomas Hardy Reappraised: Essays in Honour of Michael Millgate. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006. (Contributors include Pamela Dalziel, Marjorie Garson, Simon Gatrell, Barbara Hardy, Samuel Hynes, W. J. Keith, U. C. Knoepflmacher, George Levine, J. Hillis Miller, William W. Morgan, Norman Page, Mary Rimmer, Jeremy V. Steele, Dennis Taylor, Ruth Bernard Yeazell).

(ed., with Kristin Brady). The Fiddler of the Reels and Other Stories by Thomas Hardy. London: Penguin Classics, 2003. Scholarly edition with introduction, full notes, history of the text, three appendices and glossary.

(ed). The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy. London: Penguin Classics, 1997. Scholarly edition with introduction, full notes, history of the text, appendices and glossary. 2 nd edition, 2003.

Thomas Hardy On Stage. London and New York: Macmillan and St. Martin's, 1995.

Articles and book chapters (since 2000 only)

"What Tess Meant to Hardy, and Why." Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society 136 (2015). 1-11.

“Regionalism and Consciousness: Thomas Hardy’s Imagined Geographies.” In Robert DeMaria, Jr., et al. ed., The Blackwell Companion to British Literature: Volume IV: Victorian and Twentieth-Century Literature 1837-2000. Wiley-Blackwell, 2014. 129-43.

“Thomas Hardy as Correspondent.” The Thomas Hardy Journal 29 (Autumn 2013). 13-28.

"Hardy's London." In Phillip Mallett, ed., Thomas Hardy in Context. Cambridge University Press, 2012. 384-94.

"Hardy Performed: Thomas Hardy and the Stage." Proceedings of  the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society 132 (2011). 63-72.

"Hardy and the Ethics of Looking." The Hardy Society Journal 7, 1 (Spring 2011). 38-48.

"Thomas Hardy of London." In Keith Wilson, ed., A Companion to Thomas Hardy. Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. 146-61.

"Thomas Hardy and the Stage." Thomas Hardy Journal 23 (Autumn 2007). 22-38.

"Surveying Edwardian Londoners: George Sims's Living London." In Lawrence Phillips, ed., A Mighty Mass of Brick and Smoke: Nineteenth-Century Representations of London. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi Press, 2007. 131-49.

"Greenwich Revised: Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent and Graham Swift's Waterland." Literary London: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Representation of London. 5, 1 (March 2007).

"'Why aren't the books enough?': Authorial Pursuit in Julian Barnes'sFlaubert's Parrot and A History of the World in 10½ Chapters." Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 47 (2006). 362-74.

"'We thank you . . . most of all, perhaps for The Dynasts': Hardy's Epic-Drama Re-evaluated." Thomas Hardy Journal 22 (Autumn 2006). 235-54.

"Far From the Madding Crowd in the Cinema: the Problem of Textual Fidelity." In T. R. Wright, ed., Hardy On Screen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. 96-107.

"Julian Barnes and the Marginalisation of Metropolitanism: The Suburban Centre in Metroland and Letters from London." In Lawrence Phillips, ed., The Swarming Streets: Twentieth Century Literary Representations of London. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2004. 153-67.

"Thomas Hardy's 'The Ruined Maid,' Elsa Lanchester's Music Hall, and the Fall into Fashion." In Edna Hedblad, ed., Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism, Vol 128. Detroit: Gale, 2004. 170-74. (Reprint of 1999 Thomas Hardy Journal article, also re-issued in the CD-ROM Craft of Literature accompaniment to X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia, eds.,Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Longman, 2002).

"London Contracting: the Internalizing of Urban Space in the Literature of Contemporary London." Literary London: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Representation of London, 2, 1 (March 2004).

"Gertrude Bugler," "Dramatizations," "The Hardy Players," "The Theatre." In Norman Page, ed., The Oxford Reader's Companion to Hardy. Oxford University Press, 2000. 36, 99-102, 174-75, 418-19.

Theses supervised

 Ralph Smith (PhD), “Fever Narrative in the Fiction of Charles Dickens” (2012).

Caleb Snider (MA), "Almost an Englishman Born and Bred: The Multiracial Protagonist as the 'Hero of Multiculturalism' in Contemporary British Fiction" (2010).

Ryan Stephenson (PhD), "Popular Literacy and the Creation of New Models of Reading and Writing in Victorian Prose Genres" (2009).

Jillian Richardson (MA), "Marking Territory with London’s East End: Arthur Morrison and the Imagination of Modern Borders” (2009).

Rachel Conlon (MA), "The Comic Manifesto of Muriel Spark" (2009)

Alan West (PhD), "The Natural History of the Future: The Related Importance of History and Nature to the Work of Richard Jefferies, William Morris, H. G. Wells, and Aldous Huxley (2001).

Sara Malton (MA), "Commanding Language: Linguistic Authority and Female Autonomy in Thomas Hardy's Fiction" (2000).

Phyllis Paryas (PhD), "Making a Life from the Margins: The Oblique Art of Barbara Pym" (1992).

Julie Fenwick (PhD), "The Novels of Joyce Cary: Romantic Illusion and Existential Pathology" (1990).

Barry MacDonald (PhD), "Systems of Order: The novels of Evelyn Waugh" (1987).

Julie Fenwick, (MA), "The Role of Nature Myths in the Major Novels of Thomas Hardy" (1984).

Susan Rutherford (MA), "A Critical Reading of Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time (1977).

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