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Professor Tim Kendall



01392 724343

My research interests are William Golding's fiction, war poetry, nature writing, and archives. I have ongoing projects in each of these areas.

My latest book, co-authored with Fiona Mathews and shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize, is Black Ops & Beaver Bombing: Adventures with Britain's Wild Mammals (Oneworld, 2023). Part natural history, part travel writing, and part bad jokes (what exactly did the beaver say to the tree?), the book criss-crosses Britain in search of eight mammal species that are threatened with extinction. The animals are the heroes. There is no spiritual healing and no self-discovery.

Fiona and I also make a podcast series together: Mammals R Us.

My anthology Poetry of the Second World War, a kind of sequel to Poetry of the First World War (2014), is forthcoming from Oxford World's Classics in 2024. Let's hope it's the last in the series.

Research interests

My new book, co-authored with Fiona Mathews, is Black Ops and Beaver Bombing: Adventures with Britain's Wild Mammals (Oneworld, 2023). It comprises natural history, travel writing, entertaining campaigning, and bad jokes.

I have various ongoing projects:

A 5-volume variorum edition of Ivor Gurney's poetry, which I'm editing with Philip Lancaster for OUP. Volume 1 appeared in 2020; volume 2 will be published in 2024.

An edition of the correspondence between William Golding and his editor, Charles Monteith, for Faber & Faber (forthcoming 2025).

An annotated anthology of Second World war poetry, which will serve as a kind of sequel to Poetry of the First World War (2013). 

A full-length book on William Golding, literary fandom, and why we like some authors more than others.

Research supervision

War poetry; archives; writers' letters; anthologies; nature writing. Specific authors include Robert Frost, Charlotte Mew, Sylvia Plath, Keith Douglas, Ivor Gurney, Rudyard Kipling, William Golding.


Research students

The following PhD students successfully completed in 2013:

  • Philip Lancaster (PhD on Ivor Gurney).
  • Carrie Smith (PhD on Ted Hughes, co-supervised with Jo Gill).
  • Rebecca Welshman (PhD on Thomas Hardy, Richard Jefferies and Victorian Archaeology)

In 2014:

  • Sadia Rehman (MbyRes on T. S. Eliot).

In 2015:

  • Jasmine Hunter Evans (PhD on David Jones, co-supervised with Rebecca Langlands).
  • Lucy Tunstall (PhD on Sylvia Plath, co-supervised with Jo Gll).

In 2016:

  • Grant Repshire (PhD on F W Harvey).
  • Suzanne Steele (PhD on war poetry).
  • Luke Thompson (PhD on Jack Clemo).

In 2018:

  • Pete Bunten (PhD on Henry Williamson).
  • Bysshe Coffey (PhD on Percy Shelley).

Modules taught


I was born in Plymouth in 1970. At Oxford I completed my BA (1991) and D.Phil (1994). I spent a year there as lecturer before taking up a research post in Newcastle. Two years after that, I accepted my first permanent position at Bristol. I returned to Devon as Professor of English Literature at the University of Exeter in 2006, and served as Head of Department from 2007 to 2013.

In no particular order, my passions are poetry, wildlife conservation, running, William Golding's fiction, and Plymouth Argyle.

I have a podcast series with Fiona Mathews about wild mammals: Mammals R Us.


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