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, ecclesiastical history, 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 also wrote c. 4000 entries for my Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance.


Monographs since 2000

  • Norse America: the story of a founding myth (OUP, 2021)
  • A Short History of Gardens (OUP, 2016); translated into Chinese and Farsi
  • 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; translated into Chinese
  • Milton and the manuscript of ‘De Doctrina Christiana’ (OUP, 2007); co-author
  • 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); translated into Chinese
  • The Holy Bible: Quatercentenary Edition (OUP, 2010); slightly revised in 2023 as the Coronation Bible, printed in 12 copies, on the first of which King Charles III swore his coronation oath.
  • 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)
  • The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts (OUP, 2 vols, 2006)

Contributions to reference material since 2000

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

Essays since 2000

  • 35 chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals

General Editorships since 2000

  • Complete Works of John Milton (OUP, 13 vols, in progress), with Thomas Corns
  • Essays and Studies (Boydell and Brewer, 6 vols)
  • Review of English Studies (OUP, 13 vols)

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, the Bible and ornamental hermits. 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.

Radio work includes Last Word (BBC), Gardeners’ Question Time (BBC), Sunday Feature (BBC), The World This Weekend (BBC), Today (BBC), Late Night Currie (BBC), Sunday (BBC), Radio Five Live (BBC), Newstalk (Dublin) and a three-part series with James Naughtie (BBC). I have also given interviews on ARD (Germany), CBC (Canada), Times Radio, Heritage Radio Network and several  programmes on PBS (USA).

Television work includes a three-part series with Adam Nicolson (BBC), a documentary for the  French-German channel ARTE, and interviews on ABC (Australia), Channel 4, Fox News and  Al Jazeera.

Print interviews include Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, Atlantic, Boston Globe, British Academy Review, Daily Express, European Legacy, The Federalist, Le Point, Maclean’s Magazine, Modern Farmer, New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, Times Educational Supplement, Times Higher and several for the Washington Post.

Podcasts include BBC History Extra and History Hit (with Dan Snow)


Current activities

  • Chair, Fabric Advisory Committee, Leicester Cathedral
  • Vice-chair (Humanities and Social Sciences), Scientific Council, Le Studium, (Loire Valley Institute of Advanced Studies)
  • Member, Academic Board and Advisory Council, Markfield Institute of Higher Education (Islamic Foundation)
  • Member, 10 editorial boards

Past activities

  • Public Orator, University of Leicester. Honorands included church leaders (Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Dean David Monteith), writers (Bill Bryson, Vikram Seth), musicians (Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicola Benedetti), composers (Sir Karl Jenkins), athletes (Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson), politicians (Lord Bach, Lady Byford, Lord Willetts), entertainers (Engelbert Humperdinck, Sir Terry Wogan) and a head of state (Atifete Jahjaga). I also delivered the eulogy at the reinterment of King Richard III.
  • 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
  • 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 and the British Council, 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 (for lifetime contribution)
  • 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)


Academic Travel

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.

The Bible

2011 was the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version of the Bible. Since then I have given more than 100 talks on the KJV in Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, France, India, Ireland, Israel, Romania, Switzerland, the United States and the Vatican. Venues have included cathedrals (Bristol, Ely, Exeter, Leicester, Lichfield, Norwich, Sheffield and Winchester), churches (Anglican/ Episcopal, Catholic, Methodist, United Reform), clubs (including the Athenaeum in London and the Harvard Club in New York), exhibitions (including Atlanta, Charlotte NC, Colorado Springs, Edinburgh, Jerusalem, Oklahoma City, Santa Clarita CA, and Springfield MO), libraries (including the Philadelphia Free Library), the Inns of Court (Gray's Inn), learned societies (including the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow), literary festivals (Althorp, Belfast, Bloxham) and universities. I have also contributed to BBC radio and television programmes on the KJV. I published a monograph on the history of the King James Bible and an old-spelling edition of the 1611 text. The British government bought 21,144 copies of my edition of the Bible, and presented a copy to every primary and secondary school in England. In 2023 this edition was reworked as the Coronation Bible, which was printed in 12 specially bound copies, on the first of which King Charles III took his coronation oath.



  • MA (Queen’s University, Canada)
  • DPhil (University of York)
  • DLitt (University of York)
  • Doctor honoris causa (University of Bucharest)
  • Honorary DLitt (University of Leicester)

Elected Fellowships

  • 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 Huguenot Society
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
  • Fellow of the Zoological Society of London
  • Honorary Fellow of the English Association
  • Corresponding Fellow of the Southern African Society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies


  • Milton Society of America
  • Renaissance Society of America
  • Royal African Society
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • Royal Society of Literature
  • Selden Society (English legal history)
  • Society for Renaissance Studies
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