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Professor Bob Owens

Bob Owens photo

Profile summary

  • Emeritus Professor of English
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • English & Creative Writing

Professional biography

Bob Owens studied English Literature at the University of Ulster and began his postgraduate studies at the University of Kent at Canterbury. In 1978 he was appointed to a research post at The Open University, where he received his PhD in 1984. He became Staff Tutor and Lecturer in Literature at The Open University in London in 1986, and Professor of English Literature in 2003. From 2000 until 2008 he was Head of the Department of English. He retired in March 2011. He is currently a Visiting Professor at Northumbria University.

Research interests

His research interests are in English literature of the seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries, in particular the writings of John Bunyan and Daniel Defoe, and in Book History, especially textual editing and the history of reading. He was co-founder and from 2000 until 2011 Director of the Book History and Bibliography Research Group, established to promote research into the production, distribution and readership of books. From 2004 to 2007 he was Co-investigator on the AHRC-funded project, ‘The Colonial and Post-Colonial History of the Book’; from 2006 to 2009 he was Principal Investigator and Director of the AHRC-funded project, ‘The Reading Experience Database 1800–1945’; and from 2010 to 2011 he was Principal Investigator and Director of the AHRC-funded project, ‘Developing an International Digital Network in the History of Reading: collaboration between the UK Reading Experience Database and invited partners’. (For the two latter projects, see www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK.)
 
Professor Owens’s publications in these fields include editions of Bunyan’s Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (Penguin Classics, 1987); two volumes of The Miscellaneous Works of John Bunyan (Clarendon Press, 1994); The Pilgrim’s Progress (Oxford World’s Classics, 2003); and two volumes of essays, John Bunyan and his England, 1628–88 (Hambledon Press, 1990, with Anne Laurence and Stuart Sim) and Reception, Appropriation, Recollection: Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (Peter Lang, 2007, with Stuart Sim). He is a founder editor of the scholarly journal Bunyan Studies, and from 2001 to 2004 served as President of The International John Bunyan Society.
 
Much of his work on Daniel Defoe has been carried out in collaboration with P. N. Furbank. They are co-authors of The Canonisation of Daniel Defoe (Yale University Press, 1988); Defoe De-Attributions: A Critique of J. R. Moore’s Checklist (Hambledon Press, 1994); A Critical Bibliography of Daniel Defoe (Pickering & Chatto, 1998); and A Political Biography of Daniel Defoe (Pickering & Chatto, 2006); and they are also co-editors of Defoe’s Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain (Yale University Press, 1991). From 2000 to 2009 they were joint General Editors of The Works of Daniel Defoe, published in 44 volumes by Pickering & Chatto. Professor Owens edited the volumes on Dissent (2000), Social Reform (2000), The True-Born Englishman and Other Poems(2003), A New Family Instructor (2006), The Complete English Gentleman (2007), The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (2008), and The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (2008).
 
In addition to these books and editions, Professor Owens has contributed some fifty or so articles and chapters to scholarly journals and edited collections. His most recent publications include an edition of the 1611 Authorized Version text of The Gospels for Oxford World’s Classics (2011) and two volumes of essays in the Palgrave Macmillan series The History of Reading: Vol. 1, International Perspectives, c.1550–1945 (2011, edited with Shafquat Towheed) and Vol. 2, Evidence from the British Isles, c.1800–1945 (2011, edited with Katie Halsey). 

Publications

Defoe's £17,000 bankruptcy (2002-09)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Notes and Queries, 247(3) (pp. 363-364)
Stylometry and the Defoe canon: a reply to Irving Rothman (2002)
Owens, W.R. and Furbank, P. N.
Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 96(3) (pp. 463-465)
Defoe's South-Sea and North-Sea schemes: a footnote to A New Voyage Round the World (2001)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Eighteenth-Century Fiction, 13 (pp. 501-508)
Defoe and King William: a sceptical enquiry (2001)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Review of English Studies, 52(206) (pp. 227-232)
Defoe, the De la Faye letters and Mercurius Politicus (2000)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 23(1) (pp. 13-19)
New light on John Pierce, Defoe's agent in Scotland (1998)
Owens, W. R. and Furbank, P. N.
Edinburgh Bibliographical Society Transactions, 6(4) (pp. 134-143)
Defoe and the sham Flying-Post (1998)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Publishing History, 43 (pp. 5-15)
The dating of Defoe's "Atlantis Major" (1997-06)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Notes and Queries, 242(2) (pp. 189-190)
The Defoe that never was: a tale of de-attribution (1997-04)
Furbank, P N and Owens, W R
The American Scholar, 66(2) (pp. 276-284)
The lost continuation of Defoe's Roxana (1997-04)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Eighteenth-Century Fiction, 9(3) (pp. 229-308)
Whence the Defoe Canon? (1997-01)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Eighteenth-Century Fiction, 9(2) (pp. 223-225)
The Dating of Defoe's Atalantis Major (1997)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Notes & Queries, 44(2) (pp. 189-190)
The Myth of Defoe as 'Applebee's Man' (1997)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Review of English Studies, 48(190) (pp. 198-204)
On the attribution of periodicals and newspapers to Daniel Defoe (1996)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Publishing History, 40 (pp. 83-98)
Sir Alexander Cumming and Defoe's Mercator (1995)
Owens, W. R. and Furbank, P. N.
Notes and Queries, 42(4) (pp. 454-455)
Daniel Defoe and A Letter from a Gentleman at the Court of St Germains (1710) (1995)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Etudes Anglaises, 48 (pp. 61-66)
"A True Account of the Proceedings at Perth": The impact of an historical novel (1994-04)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Eighteenth-Century Fiction, 6(3) (pp. 233-242)
Defoe and 'Sir Andrew Politick' (1994-04)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 17(1) (pp. 27-39)
Defoe and A Curious Little Oration Deliver'd by Father Andrew (1993-09)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Notes and Queries, 238(3) (p 328)
Defoe as secret agent: three unpublished letters (1993-04)
Owens, W. R. and Furbank, P. N.
The Scriblerian, 25(2) (pp. 145-153)
Defoe, Trent, and the 'Defection' (1993)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Review of English Studies, 44(173) (pp. 70-76)
Defoe and the 'Tippony Ale' (1993)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Scottish Historical Review, 72(1) (pp. 86-89)
Defoe, William Hendley, and Charity Still a Christian Virtue (1719) (1993)
Furbank, P.N. and Owens, W. R.
Huntington Library Quarterly, 56(3) (pp. 327-330)
The Lost Property Office: some Defoe attributions reconsidered (1992-09)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 86 (pp. 245-267)
Defoe and Francis Noble (1992-07)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Eighteenth-Century Fiction, 4(4) (pp. 301-313)
Dangerous Relations (1991)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
The Scriblerian, 23 (pp. 242-244)
The Defoe canon again (1988)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 82 (pp. 95-98)
William Lee of Sheffield: Sanitary Reformer and Defoe Bibliographer (1988)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
The Book Collector, 37(2) (pp. 185-206)
The date of Bunyan's "Treatise of Antichrist" (1986-07)
Owens, W. R.
The Seventeenth Century, 1(2) (pp. 153-157)
Defoe and the 'improvisatory' sentence (1986-04)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
English Studies, 67(2) (pp. 157-166)
Defoe and imprisonment for debt: Some attributions reviewed (1986)
Owens, W. R. and Furbank, P. N.
Review of English Studies, 37(148) (pp. 495-502)
What if Defoe did not write the "History of the Wars of Charles XII"? (1986)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 80 (pp. 333-347)
Defoe and the Dutch Alliance: some attributions examined (1986)
Owens, W. R. and Furbank, P. N.
British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 9(1) (pp. 169-182)
"A Vindication of the Press" (1718): Not by Defoe? (1984)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 78(3) (pp. 355-360)
A political biography of Daniel Defoe (2006)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
Eighteenth century political biographies
ISBN : 1851968105 | Publisher : Pickering & Chatto | Published : London, UK
A Critical Bibliography of Daniel Defoe (1998)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
ISBN : 1-85196-389-8 | Publisher : Pickering and Chatto | Published : London
Defoe De-Attributions: A Critique of J. R. Moore's 'Checklist' (1994)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
ISBN : 1-85285-128-7 | Publisher : The Hambledon Press | Published : London and Rio Grande
The Canonisation of Daniel Defoe (1988)
Furbank, P. N. and Owens, W. R.
ISBN : 0-300-04119-5 | Publisher : Yale University Press | Published : New Haven and London
A KWIC Concordance to Daniel Defoe's 'Robinson Crusoe' (1987)
Spackman, I. J.; Owens, W. R. and Furbank, P. N.
ISBN : 824063384 | Publisher : Garland Publishing | Published : New York and London
A KWIC Concordance to Daniel Defoe's 'Moll Flanders' (1985)
Owens, W. R. and Furbank, P. N.
Garland Reference Library of the Humanities
ISBN : 824086627 | Publisher : Garland | Published : New York and London
Introduction (2011-08-26)
Towheed, Shafquat and Owens, W. R.
In: Towheed, Shafquat and Owens, W. R. eds. The History of Reading, Volume 1: International Perspectives, c.1500-1990 (pp. 1-12)
ISBN : 9780230247512 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : Basingstoke, UK
John Bunyan and the Bible (2010-06-10)
Owens, W.R.
In: Dunan-Page, Anne ed. The Cambridge Companion to Bunyan. Cambridge Companions to Literature (pp. 39-50)
ISBN : 9780521515269 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge
Master's-level study in Literature at The Open University: pedagogic challenges and solutions (2010-03-04)
Owens, W. R.
In: Kayalis, Takis and Natsina, Anastasia eds. Teaching Literature at a Distance: Open, Online and Blended Learning (pp. 33-43)
ISBN : 9780826427038 | Publisher : Continuum | Published : London
Editing literary texts (2010)
Owens, W. R.
In: Owens, W. R. and Da Sousa Correa, Delia eds. The Handbook to Literary Research (pp. 69-86)
ISBN : 9780415485005 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London and New York
Planning, writing and presenting a dissertation or thesis (2010)
Owens, W. R.
In: Owens, W. R. and Da Sousa Correa, Delia eds. The Handbook to Literary Research (pp. 187-203)
ISBN : 9780415485005 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London and New York
Glossary (2010)
Owens, W. R.
In: Owens, W. R. and Da Sousa Correa, Delia eds. The Handbook to Literary Research (pp. 207-223)
ISBN : 415497329 | Publisher : Routledge
The Canon and the curriculum (2009)
Owens, W. R.
In: Gupta, Suman and Katsarska, Milena eds. English Studies On This Side: Post-2007 Reckonings (pp. 47-59)
ISBN : 9789544235680 | Publisher : Plovdiv University Press | Published : Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Readings (2005-12-06)
Owens, W. R.
In: Anderson, Linda ed. Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings (pp. 411-647)
ISBN : 415372429 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon, U.K.
Beaumont, Agnes (bap. 1652, d. 1720) (2004)
Owens, W.R.
In: Matthew, H C G and Harrison, Brian eds. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (pp. 648-649)
ISBN : 198613547 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford
Reading the bibliographical codes: Bunyan's publication in folio (2002)
Owens, W. R.
In: Keeble, N. H. ed. John Bunyan: reading dissenting writing. Religions and discourse (12) (pp. 59-77)
ISBN : 390676852X | Publisher : Peter Lang | Published : Bern, Switzerland
John Bunyan and English Millenarianism (2000)
Owens, W. R.
In: Gay, D.; Randall, J. G. and Zinck, A. eds. Awakening Words: John Bunyan and the Language of Community (pp. 81-96)
ISBN : 874137020 | Publisher : University of Delaware Press and Associated University Presses | Published : Newark
Shakespeare: Theatre Poet (1996-05-30)
Owens, W. R.
In: Owens, W. R. and Goodman, Lizbeth eds. Shakespeare, Aphra Behn and the Canon (pp. 21-33)
ISBN : 415135753 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, U.K. and New York, NY, U.S.
Remaking the Canon: Aphra Behn's The Rover (1996-05-30)
Owens, W. R.
In: Owens, W. R. and Goodman, Lizbeth eds. Shakespeare, Aphra Behn and the Canon (pp. 131-175)
ISBN : 415135753 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, U.K. and New York, NY, U.S.
Aphra Ben, The Rover, in Shakespeare, Aphra Behn and the Canon (1996-05-30)
Owens, W. R.
In: Owens, W. R. and Goodman, Lizbeth eds. Shakespeare, Aphra Behn and the Canon (pp. 261-334)
ISBN : 415135753 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, U.K. and New York, NY, U.S.
Research Techniques and the Use of Libraries (1996)
Owens, W. R.
In: Eliot, Simon and Owens, W. R. eds. A Handbook to Literary Research (pp. 13-18)
ISBN : 415198593 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, U.K. and New York, NY, U.S.
The reception of The Pilgrim's Progress in England (1990)
Owens, W. R.
In: Os van, M and Schute, G. J. eds. Bunyan in England and Abroad (pp. 91-104)
ISBN : 9062569110 | Publisher : VU University Press | Published : Amsterdam
Antichrist must be pulled down: Bunyan and the millennium (1990)
Owens, W. R.
In: Laurence, Anne; Owens, W. R. and Sim, Stuart eds. John Bunyan and his England 1628-1688 (pp. 77-104)
ISBN : 1-852850272 | Publisher : The Hambledon Press | Published : London
Bunyan, John 1628-88 (1988)
Owens, W.R.
In: Ousby, Ian ed. The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English (pp. 140-142)
ISBN : 052126751X | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge
Pilgrim's progress, The: from this world to that which is to come (1988)
Owens, W.R.
In: Ousby, Ian ed. The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English (pp. 780-781)
ISBN : 052126751X | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge
Jane Barker, Aphra Behn, Elizabeth Cary Viscountess Falkland, Mary Cary, Anne Collins, Elizabeth Colville Lady Collville of Culross, Lady Eleanor Douglas, Anne Dowriche, Elizabeth Grymeston, Susanna Hopton, Anne Killigrew, Emilia Lanier, Jane Lead, Katherine Philips, Elizabeth Polwhele, Mary Sidney Countess of Pembroke, Anna Trapnel, Margaret Tyler, Elizabeth Warren, Anne Wentworth, Anne Wharton, Lady Mary Wroth (1983)
Owens, W. R.
In: Crawford, Anne; Hayter, Tony; Hughes, Ann; Prochaska, Frank; Stafford, Pauline and Vallance, Elizabeth eds. The Europa Biographical Dictionary of British Women: Over 1000 notable women from Britain's past
ISBN : 810317893 | Publisher : Europa Publications Limited | Published : London, U.K.
Arnold Kettle: a select bibliography 1939-1981 (1982)
Owens, W.R.
In: Jefferson, Douglas and Martin, Graham eds. The Uses of Fiction: Essays on the Modern Novel in Honour of Arnold Kettle (pp. 287-296)
ISBN : 033510181X | Publisher : Open University Press | Published : Milton Keynes
The History of Reading, Volume 1: International Perspectives, c.1500-1990 (2011-08-26)
Towheed, Shafquat and Owens, W. R. eds.
ISBN : 9780230247512 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : Basingstoke, UK
The Handbook to Literary Research (2010)
da Sousa Correa, Delia and Owens, W. R. eds.
ISBN : 978-0-415-48500-5 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon
Reception, Appropriation, Recollection: Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (2007)
Owens, W. R. and Sim, Stuart eds.
Religions and Discourse
ISBN : 3-03910-720-8 | Publisher : Peter Lang | Published : Bern, Switzerland
John Bunyan,'The Pilgrim's Progress' (2003-10-09)
Owens, W.R. (ed.)
Owens, W.R. ed.
Oxford World's Classics
ISBN : 192803611 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford, UK
Dissent (2000)
Owens, W.R. (ed.)
Owens, W. R. and Furbank, P. N. eds.
Political and Economic Writings of Daniel Defoe
ISBN : 1-85196465-7 | Publisher : Pickering and Chatto | Published : London
The Works of Daniel Defoe (2000)
Owens, W.R. and Furbank, P.N. (general editors)
Owens, W. R. and Furbank, P. N. eds.
Publisher : Pickering and Chatto | Published : London
Social Reform (2000)
Owens, W.R.
Owens, W. R. and Furbank, P. N. eds.
Political and Economic Writings of Daniel Defoe
ISBN : 1851964657 | Publisher : Pickering and Chatto | Published : London
Romantic Writings: An Anthology (1998)
Owens, W.R. and Johnson, Hamish eds.
ISBN : 749287632 | Publisher : The Open University | Published : Milton Keynes, U.K.
A Handbook to Literary Research (1998)
Eliot, Simon and Owens, W.R. eds.
ISBN : 415198593 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London
Shakespeare, Aphra Behn and the Canon (1996)
Owens, W. R. and Goodman, Lizbeth eds.
ISBN : 415135753 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, U.K. and New York, NY, U.S.
Culture and Belief in Europe 1450-1600: An Anthology of Sources (1990-02-01)
Englander, David; Norman, Diana; O'Day, Rosemary and Owens, William eds.
ISBN : 063116989X | Publisher : John Wiley and Sons Ltd | Published : Oxford, U.K.
John Bunyan and his England 1628-88 (1990)
Laurence, Anne; Owens, W. R. and Sim, Stuart eds.
ISBN : 1852850272 | Publisher : The Hambledon Press | Published : London
Literature and Liberation: Selected Essays (1988)
Martin, Graham and Owens, W. R. eds.
ISBN : 719025419 | Publisher : Manchester University Press | Published : Manchester, U.K.
Seventeenth Century England: A Changing Culture Vol 2 Modern Studies (1980-12)
Owens, W. R. ed.
ISBN : 070624091X | Publisher : Ward Lock Educational | Published : London, U.K.
Daniel Defoe, The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. (2008-01-01)
Defoe, Daniel
Pickering & Chatto, London.
The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (2008)
Defoe, Daniel
Pickering & Chatto, London.
Daniel Defoe, The Compleat English Gentleman and Of Royal Education (2007)
Defoe, Daniel
Pickering & Chatto, London, UK.
Daniel Defoe, The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (2007)
Defoe, Daniel
Pickering & Chatto, London.
A New Family Instructor (2006)
Defoe, Daniel
Pickering & Chatto, London.
The true-born Englishman and other poems (2003)
Defoe, Daniel
Pickering & Chatto, London.
The True-Born Englishman and Other Writings (1997-11-27)
Defoe, Daniel
Penguin Books, London.
The Miscellaneous Works of John Bunyan: Volume XII (1994-03-03)
Bunyan, John
Clarendon Press, Oxford.
The Miscellaneous Works of John Bunyan, Vol.13 (1994-03-03)
Bunyan, John
Clarendon Press, Oxford.
A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain (1991)
Defoe, Daniel
Yale University Press, New Haven.
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1987-06-25)
Bunyan, John
Penguin Books, Harmondsworth.

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