Phelan, Joseph 1963–

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Phelan, Joseph 1963–


Born 1963. Education: King's College, Cambridge, M.A., King's College, London, Ph.D.


Office—Faculty of Humanities, Clephan Building, De Montfort University, Leicester LE1 9BH, England. E-mail—[email protected]


Educator, editor, writer, and reviewer. De Monfort University, Leicester, England, senior lecturer in English.


(Editor) Clough: Selected Poems, Longman (New York, NY), 1995.

The Nineteenth-Century Sonnet, Palgrave Macmillan (New York, NY), 2006.

(Editor, with John Woolford and Daniel Karlin) The Poems of Browning, Volume 3, Palgrave Macmillan (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to books, including Utopia Matters: Politics and Theory, edited by Fatima Vieira, University of Porto Press, 2005. Contributor to professional journals, including Revue de Littérature Comparée, Higher Education Review, New Dictionary of National Biography, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, Journal of Victorian Culture, Review of English Studies, and the Journal of Anglo Studies.


Joseph Phelan teaches English literature and is the editor of Clough: Selected Poems, which presents a selection of poetry by nineteenth-century writer Arthur Hugh Clough. Notes and Queries contributor Bernard Richards remarked of the work: "Phelan is an extremely sympathetic and expert reader of Clough, and the introduction is a most elegant and informative essay." Phelan also includes extensive footnotes and letters by Clough. Richards noted that Phelan takes extra care in presenting the particulars of the language that Clough uses, including slang and biblical language. Richards also wrote: "There is a fine section on Clough and the legacy of Romanticism. The approach is to place the poet as much as possible in the context of his time."

In The Nineteenth-Century Sonnet, the author provides a critical look at the history and development of the sonnet throughout the nineteenth century. In the process, Phelan explores such issues as why the fourteen-line sonnet returned to popularity in the nineteenth century after being largely ignored in the eighteenth century. Among the topics discussed are the "Wordsworthian" sonnet revival, sonnet and autobiography, the political sonnet, the devotional sonnet, and the amatory sonnet sequence. Phelan also discusses why the sonnet has remained an enduring popular form of poetry. Among the poets he examines are Wordsworth, Keats, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and George Meredith. In the introduction to her book, Little Songs:Women, Silence, and the Nineteenth-Century Sonnet, Amy Christine Billone points out that Phelan "[gives] space to female as well as male sonneteers."



Billone, Amy Christine, Little Songs: Women, Silence, and the Nineteenth-Century Sonnet, Ohio State University Press (Columbus, OH), 2007.


Notes and Queries, December, 1998, Bernard Richards, review of Clough: Selected Poems, p. 506.


De Montfort University Web site, (September 6, 2007), faculty profile of author.