Margaret Doody

Professor Emerita, English

Professor Emerita, English
233 Decio Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556


B.A., Dalhousie University; B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Oxford University; LL.D. (Hon.), Dalhousie University


Margaret Doody, was the John and Barbara Glynn Family Professor of Literature and the first Director of the Ph.D. in Literature Program, is interested in literature of many languages and cultures.  Her career is rooted in the study of the eighteenth century; she is the author of many articles on writers including Swift, Sterne and Austen, and of book-length studies of Samuel Richardson and of Frances Burney, as well as The Daring Muse: Augustan Poetry Reconsidered (Cambridge UP 1985; reissued 2010). Her interests have broadened in pursuit of the Novel in its many developments as a form, and she is attracted to the function and nature of stories, and to the work done through the ages by fantasy. Margaret Doody is best known internationally for The True Story of the Novel (Rutgers UP, 1996), and is a constant participant in international conferences on the ancient novel. Her most recent book, Tropic of Venice (University of Pennsylvania UP, 2006), takes a city as a text. She has received an NEH fellowship  (2007) for a project tracing the roots of the Enlightenment in the Renaissance, dealing with thinkers such as Pico and Paracelsus; her book in progress is an enquiry into when and how we began to think  positively of change as a good thing.  The working title is “Love Change and Chaos: the Coming of the Enlightenment”.

Margaret Doody is also the author of the “Aristotle Detective” series of novels, translated into many languages including French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Greek. The most recent is Mysteries of Eleusis (2006). The latest “Aristotle and the Egyptian Murders” is to come out in Italian in late 2010.

Representative publications

Mysteries of Eleusis. London: Century, 2005.

“Jane Austen That Disconcerting ‘Child’.” In The Child Writer from Austen to Woolf, edited by Christine Alexander and Juliet McMaster, 101-21. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Poison in Athens. London: Century, 2004.

“Deserts, Ruins and Troubled Waters: Female Dreams in Fiction and the Development of the Gothic Novel.” In The Eighteenth-Century English Novel, edited by Harold Bloom, 71-111. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2004.

“Swift and Women.” In Cambridge Companion to Jonathan Swift, edited by Christopher Fox, 87-111. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

“Love in All Its Oddness: The Affections in Women’s Private Poetry of the Eighteenth Century.” In Forging Connections: Women’s Poetry from the Renaissance to Romanticism, edited by Anne K. Mellor, Felicity Nussbaum, and Jonathan F. S. Post, 63-80. San Marino, CA: Huntington Library, 2002.