“So complex is the human spirit that it can itself scarce discern the deep springs which impel it to action.”The White Company (1891)
Ian Duncan studied at King’s College, Cambridge (BA, 1977) and Yale University (PhD, 1989). He has taught in the English departments at Yale, the University of Oregon, and (since 2001) the University of California, Berkeley, where he was appointed to the Florence Green Bixby Chair in English in 2011. In 2017 he received the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Duncan has held visiting positions at the universities of British Columbia and Konstanz, Boğaziçi University (Istanbul), LMU Munich, Princeton University, and Aix-Marseille University. His books include Modern Romance and Transformations of the Novel: The Gothic, Scott, Dickens (Cambridge, 1992), Scott’s Shadow: The Novel in Romantic Edinburgh (Princeton, 2007), and, most recently, Human Forms: The Novel in the Age of Evolution (Princeton, 2019). He has also published several coedited collections of essays and editions of nineteenth-century Scottish fiction, including Walter Scott’s Rob Roy and Ivanhoe, James Hogg’s Winter Evening Tales and Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped, and Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World.
His interest in Scott and historical fiction drew him to The White Company, which he is editing for the Edinburgh Edition of the Works of Arthur Conan Doyle. Other works in progress include a critical study of Scotland and Romanticism and editorship of a new Cambridge History of Scottish Literature. Duncan is a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a member of the editorial board of Representations, a General Editor of the Collected Works of James Hogg, and co-editor of a monograph series, Edinburgh Critical Studies in Romanticism.