Professor Gordon Campbell

Emeritus Professor and Fellow in Renaissance Studies

School/Department: Arts, School of



I am a Renaissance and seventeenth-century specialist with particular interests in John Milton and in the history of the Bible. Broader interests in cultural history on which I publish include art, architecture, classical antiquity, garden history, legal history, historical theology, and the Nordic world.


I have written or edited 29 books (in 34 volumes), edited several journals (including 10 volumes of Renaissance Studies and 13 volumes of Review of English Studies, both for OUP), served as general editor of several series (including the 13-volume Oxford Complete Works of John Milton, with Thomas Corns), written 100+ articles and chapters, and contributed c. 2000 entries to reference books. I am currently working on two books: one has the tentative title The Scramble for Antarctica, and the other is a history of the Bible from antiquity to the present.



Monographs since 2000

  • Norse America: the story of a founding myth (OUP, 2021)
  • A Short History of Gardens (OUP, 2016)
  • The Hermit in the Garden: from Imperial Rome to Ornamental Gnome (OUP, 2014)
  • Bible: the Story of the King James Version 1611-2011 (OUP, 2010)
  • John Milton: Life, Work and Thought (OUP, 2008); with Thomas Corns
  • Renaissance Art and Architecture (OUP, 2004)
  • The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance (OUP, 2003)

Edited Books since 2000

  • The Oxford Illustrated History of the Renaissance (OUP, 2019)
  • The Holy Bible: Quatercentenary Edition (OUP, 2010)
  • The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art (3 vols, OUP, 2010)
  • Ben Jonson, The Alchemist and other Plays (OUP, 2008)
  • The Grove Encyclopedia of Classical Art and Architecture (2 vols, OUP, 2007)
  • Milton and the manuscript of ‘De Doctrina Christiana’ (OUP, 2007); co-author
  • The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts (OUP, 2 vols, 2006)

Contributions to reference material since 2000

  • 1227 signed entries, Grove Art Online
  • 387 signed entries, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (4th edition)
  • 10 entries in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  • 450 new or expanded entries in The Oxford English Dictionary

Press and media

I have broadcast several hundred interviews, mostly on radio, but also on television and social media outlets. The most common topics have been the Middle East and the Bible. My personal best occurred on 9 January 2011, when I did 23 interviews at 10-minute intervals, broadcast on BBC local radio stations, talking about translators of the King James Bible associated with each region.


Current activities

  • Chair, Fabric Advisory Committee, Leicester Cathedral
  • Member, Conseil Scientifique, Le Studium, (Loire Valley Institute of Advanced Studies)
  • Member, Academic Board and Advisory Council, Markfield Institute of Higher Education (Islamic Foundation)

Past activities

  • Public Orator, University of Leicester
  • Lead Historian, Museum of the Bible, Washington DC
  • Founding Chair, British Universities Iraq Consortium
  • Founding Chair, UK4 Saudi (now the UK Saudi Interest Group)
  • Leader, Education Delegation (parliamentarians and sector representatives), Round Two of Two Kingdoms' Dialogue [negotiation between governments of UK and Saudi Arabia]
  • Chair, Executive Committee, Council for the Defence of British Universities
  • Chair, President, Trustee and Treasurer, English Association
  • Chair, Society for Renaissance Studies
  • Member, Advisory Council, The Warburg Institute
  • Member, Advisory Council for Arts Faculty, University of Warwick
  • Member, Liturgical Planning Group for the reburial of Richard III, and eulogist at his reinterment in Leicester Cathedral
  • Member and sometime chair, DelPHE Iraq Steering Committee (a DfID project)

Pro bono work for HMG has mostly been for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, but has also included the Department for International Development, the Department for Education and the (former) Department of Trade and Industry. I have also worked as a consultant for the British government, for which I drafted a cross-governmental strategy for the support of education in the Islamic world.


  • Dr hc (Doctor honoris causa), University of Bucharest
  • Honorary DLitt (Doctor of Letters), University of Leicester
  • Longman--History Today Trustees Award (for lifetime contribution to History)
  • Honored Scholar of the Milton Society of America
  • Arts in Academics Award, University of Waterloo
  • Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Queen’s University (Canada)
  • Canada Council Fellow (University of York)
  • Festschrift: A Concise Companion to the Study of Manuscripts, Printed Books, and the Production of Early Modern Texts: A Festschrift for Gordon Campbell, edited Edward Jones (Wiley Blackwell, 2015)



I have made academic or professional visits to more than 70 countries, and private visits that have provided material for subsequent research to more than 30 additional countries and territories, on all seven continents. I have also travelled for the British government (the Foreign Office and the British Council).

Invited lectures and keynote lectures outside Britain have included Ahvaz University, Aligarh Muslim University, American University of Beirut, Association Française des Amis de Newman (Paris), Aoyama Gakuin University, Baylor University, El Beida University, Benghazi University, Bible Lands Museum (Jerusalem), Bilgi University, Bucharest University, Calvin College, Centre d'Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance (Tours), Cluj University, Eötvös Loránd University, Florida State University, Fort Myer (Arlington, VA), Fondazione Carical (Matera), Gharyan University, Harvard Club (New York City), Hebrew University (Jerusalem), Iaşi University, Isfahan Central Library, Istanbul University, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, King Abdulaziz University, King Faisal University, King Khalid University, King Saud University, Lebanese American University, Le Moyne College, Misratah University, The Mount (Edith Wharton’s house), Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma State University, Philadelphia Free Library, Pierpont Morgan Library, Plovdiv University, Pontifical Biblical Institute (Vatican), Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton University, Pretoria University, Purdue University, St Louis University, Sebha University, Sofia University, Le Studium (Orléans), Timişoara University, Tower Hill Botanic Garden (Boylston MA), Tripoli University, Tromsø University, Universidad de Alcalá, Universidad de Las Palmas, Universidad de Zaragoza , Universitat de Lleida, Université de Fribourg, Université de Lausanne, Université de Strasbourg, Université Grenoble Alpes, University of Calgary, University of Cape Town, University of Colorado, University of Iowa, University of Oslo, University of the Bosphorus, University of Southern Mississippi, University of the Western Cape, University of Waterloo, Witwatersrand University, William Carey University, and Zawia University.


  • MA (Queen’s University, Canada)
  • DPhil (University of York)
  • DLitt (University of York)
  • Fellow of the British Academy
  • Member, Academia Europaea
  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries
  • Fellow of the Linnean Society
  • Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
  • Honorary Fellow of the English Association
  • Corresponding Fellow of the Southern African Society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
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