Education: Cambridge University, M.A., Ph.D.
Office—Department of English, University of Toronto, 7 King's College Cir., Toronto, Ontario M5S 3K1, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]
Exeter University, Exeter, England, professor of English, 2005-06; University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Chancellor Jackman Professor of English; St. Anne's College, University of Oxford, Oxford, England, Elmore Fellow and tutor, 1995-2005, supernumerary fellow, 2005—.
(Editor and author of introduction) Henry Fielding, The Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon, Penguin (London, England), 1996.
(Editor and author of headnotes) Samuel Richardson's Published Commentary on "Clarissa," 1747-65, introduction by Jocelyn Harris, Pickering & Chatto (Brookfield, VT), 1998.
(Author of revised introduction) Henry Fielding, The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of His Friend Mr. Abraham Adams; and, An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews, edited by Douglas Brooks-Davies, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1999.
(Editor, with Peter Sabor) The "Pamela" Controversy: Criticisms and Adaptations of Samuel Richardson's "Pamela," 1740-1750, Pickering & Chatto (Brookfield, VT), 2001.
(Editor and author of introduction, with Alice Wakely) Samuel Richardson, Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2001.
Sterne, the Moderns, and the Novel, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2002.
(Editor, with Jon Mee) The Cambridge Companion to English Literature, 1740 to 1830, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Peter Sabor) "Pamela" in the Marketplace: Literary Controversy and Print Culture in Eighteenth-Century Britain and Ireland, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2005.
(Editor) Laurence Sterne's "Tristram Shandy": A Casebook, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2006.
(Editor and author of introduction) Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor to books, including The Cambridge Companion to English Literature, 1740-1830; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004; New Windows on a Woman's World: A Festschrift for Jocelyn Harris, edited by Colin Gibson and Lisa Marr, 2005; and The Cambridge History of English Literature, 1660-1780, edited by John Richetti, 2005. Contributor to journals, including Review of English Studies and Eighteenth-Century Fiction.
Thomas Keymer is a scholar who specializes in English literature from 1660 to 1830, with particular focus on narrative and the novel; print culture and history of the book; literature, politics, and national identities; intertextuality, influence, and reception; and the theory and practice of textual editing. Several of his published books deal with the works of Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, and Laurence Sterne.
Keymer's first published book, Richardson's "Clarissa" and the Eighteenth-Century Reader, analyzes Samuel Richardson's books on the title character, Clarissa. Indirectly, this is a study of the early novel, as many scholars claim Richardson as the first pioneer in this field. As many reviewers emphasized, Keymer's biggest success in writing this reader was restoring Richardson's moral action of penning the work in the context of the times. Paula R. Backscheider, reviewing the book in Studies in the Novel, observed that "Keymer is at his best when he analyzes language." In a Journal of European Studies review, John Mullan lauded the author for his "excellent book—surely the best critical study of Richardson that has yet been written." Mullan went on to explain that "its excellence is rooted in its respect for the novelist's alertness to the morally unsettling uses of his epistolary method."
In 2001 Keymer edited The "Pamela" Controversy: Criticisms and Adaptations of Samuel Richardson's "Pamela,", 1740-1750 with fellow eighteenth-century scholar Peter Sabor. The controversy surrounds Samuel Richardson's 1740s fictional character, Pamela, and the literary imitations, critical commentary, and various artistic representations that sprang from it. In an Eighteenth-Century Life review, Mark G. Spencer commented that these "marvelous volumes … will surely spur modern interest and … may direct scholars towards new areas of illuminating inquiry." Keymer and Sabor, according to Spencer, "take their readers on a journey that, going far beyond the seemingly principal texts, encompasses pre-publication puffs of Pamela … as well as a whole host of poems … reviews, plays, operas, burlesques, paintings, engravings, wax-work shows, and prose continuations of Pamela's story by Richardson and his competitors." Nobert Schurer, in his review for Eighteenth-Century Studies, believed that Pamela's controversy was "knowledgeably introduced volume by volume" by the editors. Spencer concluded that "these volumes are well conceived, expertly executed, and contain remarkably few errors caused by the copy editing or printing."
Sterne, the Moderns, and the Novel, Keymer's 2002 publication, seeks to settle the debate on which era the works of Laurence Sterne, particularly his novel Tristram Shandy, belong to. Keymer contends in this book that Sterne should be classified as a mid-eighteenth-century novelist and supports his claim by delineating the culture of the time. Shaun Regan, writing in the Irish University Review, pointed out that Keymer had filled a gap in the literature about the early novel and Richardson's place in it. Regan also commented: "As well as by scholars of Sterne and of mid-eighteenth-century British culture, the study should also be warmly welcomed by readers interested in the early history of the novel." John P. Zomchick noted in the Modern Language Review that "Keymer opens up new ways of understanding and reading Tristram Shandy even as it serves as a model for reading other texts."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Eighteenth-Century Life, spring, 2002, Mark G. Spencer, review of The "Pamela" Controversy: Criticisms and Adaptations of Samuel Richardson's "Pamela," 1740-1750, pp. 96-100.
Eighteenth-Century Studies, Volume 35, issue 4, 2002, Norbert Schurer, review of The "Pamela" Controversy, pp. 637-642; Volume 37, issue 2, 2004, Leslie Richardson, review of Samuel Richardson's Published Commentary on "Clarissa," 1747-65, pp. 314-319.
Irish University Review, autumn, 2003, Shaun Regan, review of Sterne, the Moderns, and the Novel, p. 446.
Journal of European Studies, March, 1994, John Mullan, review of Richardson's "Clarissa" and the Eighteenth-Century Reader, p. 78.
Modern Language Review, July, 2005, John P. Zomchick, review of Sterne, the Moderns, and the Novel, p. 785.
Review of English Studies, November, 1994, Karen O'Brien, review of Richardson's "Clarissa" and the Eighteenth-Century Reader, p. 576.
Studies in the Novel, winter, 1993, Paula R. Backscheider, review of Richardson's "Clarissa" and the Eighteenth-Century Reader, p. 483.
University of Exeter Web site,http://www.sall.ex.ac.uk/ (November 24, 2006), faculty profile of Thomas Keymer.
University of Toronto Web site,http://www.utoronto.ca/ (November 24, 2006), faculty profile of Thomas Keymer.