Murray Roston

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Prof. Murray Roston
Murray Roston.jpg
Born (1928-12-10) 10 December 1928 (age 90)
London, England
Alma materQueens' College, Cambridge University of London
Scientific career
FieldsEnglish literature
InstitutionsBar-Ilan University University of California, Los Angeles

Murray (Meir) Roston (Hebrew: מאיר רוסטון‎; born 1928) is an Israeli Emeritus professor of English Literature at Bar-Ilan University.


Roston was born in London, on 10 December 1928. He won the Open Classics Scholarship to Queens' College, Cambridge, and after obtaining a degree in classics, transferred to English literature for a PhD from the University of London. He taught English, Hebrew and Classics at Carmel College (Oxfordshire), and emigrated to Israel in 1956, to a position at Bar Ilan University where he is now Emeritus Professor of English. Roston taught a number of times as a visiting professor at Stanford University, as well as at the University of Virginia. In 1988–90 he was appointed Dean of Humanities Faculty at Bar Ilan. In 1999, he was appointed to the permanent faculty at UCLA as Adjunct Professor, and subsequently taught there every third year, while retaining his position in Israel. Roston is a member of numerous Editorial and Advisory Boards and he was a member of Academic Council, and Director of Humanities Program, of Open University of Israel.


Roston is an interdisciplinary scholar, author of a series of books examining how a knowledge of contemporary changes in the visual arts can illumine our understanding of parallel developments in literature. His Changing Perspectives in literature and the visual arts was rated 'Outstanding' by Choice, described there as: "A sumptuous book… of paramount significance to literary studies, to cultural and art history, and to aesthetics".[1] Milton and the Baroque was similarly described by the Times Literary Supplement as: "a study which itself partakes of the power and brilliance of his subject".[2] He has published six books on the interrelationship with the arts, as well as a number of other books on themes ranging from the Renaissance to the 20th-century. His most recent book, The Comic Mode in English Literature, was, in Choice's annual review, rated one of the Outstanding Academic titles of 2012.[3]

Personal life[edit]

In 1956, Roston married Faith Lehrman. Shortly afterwards, they emigrated to Israel, living for many years in Kiryat Ono but recently moving to Nordiya, near Netanya. Their three daughters ‒ Yardenna (married to Professor Alex Lubotzky), Nina, and Yonit ‒ have provided them with fifteen grandchildren, and a growing number of great-grandchildren.

Published works[edit]

Authored books[edit]

  • PROPHET AND POET: the Bible and the Growth of Romanticism. 204pp. UK: Faber & Faber; US: Northwestern University Press, 1965. Arden reprint 1979.
  • BIBLICAL DRAMA IN ENGLAND: from the Middle Ages to the Present Day. 335pp. UK: Faber & Faber; US: Northwestern University Press, 1968.
  • THE SOUL OF WIT: a study of John Donne 236 pp.+ 12 plates on Mannerist art. Oxford University Press (Clarendon Press), 1974. Reprinted 1976.
  • MILTON AND THE BAROQUE. 192 pp. with 12 plates. UK: The Macmillan Press; US: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 1980.
  • SIXTEENTH CENTURY ENGLISH LITERATURE. 235 pp.+ 12 illustrations. UK: The Macmillan Press; US: Schocken Press,1982. Hrdbk+pbk. Reprntd 1984, 1988. Arabic trans. 2005.
  • RENAISSANCE PERSPECTIVES: in literature and the visual arts. Princeton University Press, 1987. 380pp.+ 84 illustrations. (pbk ed.+hardbk reprnt 1989).
  • CHANGING PERSPECTIVES: in literature and the visual arts. 1650- 1820. Princeton University Press, 1990. 458 pp. + 123 art illusts. (pbk ed.+hdbk reprint 1992).
  • VICTORIAN CONTEXTS: literature and the visual arts. 246 pp.+ art ills. US: New York University Press; UK: The Macmillan Press, 1997 (reprinted 1998).
  • MODERNIST PATTERNS: in literature and the visual arts. 288 pp.+ art illustrations. US: New York University Press; UK: The Macmillan Press, 2000. Issued as electronic-book 2010.
  • THE SEARCH FOR SELFHOOD IN MODERN LITERATURE. 243 pp. Palgrave (The Macmillan Press UK & St. Martin's Press US), 2001.
  • GRAHAM GREENE'S NARRATIVE STRATEGIES: a study of the major novels. 168 pp. Palgrave (The Macmillan Press UK & St. Martin's Press US), 2006.
  • TRADITION AND SUBVERSION IN RENAISSANCE LITERATURE: studies in Shakespeare, Spenser, Jonson, and Donne. 258pp. In the series: ‘Medieval & Renaissance Literary Studies’ Duquesne UP, 2007.
  • THE COMIC MODE IN ENGLISH LITERATURE: from the Middle Ages to Today. Continuum Press, 2011 (hdb/pbk/ebook).

Editor & contributor: (Hebrew)[edit]

  • The Shakespearean World, Am Hasefer, 1965, pp. 283.

Translator (from Hebrew)[edit]

Essays in honour of Murray Roston[edit]


  1. ^ Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries (October 1990).
  2. ^ The Times Literary Supplement (April 1980).
  3. ^ Choice, vol.50 No. 5, January 2013.

External links[edit]