Jack Lynch

Professor in the English department, of the Newark campus of Rutgers University, specializing in the English literature of the eighteenth century and the history of the English language. Those who have a high tolerance for boredom can peek at my CV, either in its ostentatiously unabridged incarnation or in a slightly more modest shortened version. Those with an even higher tolerance for boredom might look at my musings on a blog, Dull in a New Way. And if you want to make an appointment with me, my calendar will show you when I'm free. (Easy-to-remember version: http://tinyurl.com/LynchCalendar.)

This Summer

Holy crap! I'm chair of the department of English! How the hell did that happen?

I spent the last academic year living as a gentleman of leisure, thanks to the largesse of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which paid good money to keep me away from students. But somehow time managed to pass, and then some finks decided it would be a lark to elect me department chair, so here I am. I'm still learning how to abuse my vast power to my own advantage.

I still have crazy notions about being a productive scholar. Last year I submitted the huge (375,000-word) collection of essays for Oxford called A Handbook of British Poetry, 1660–1800, which is now going through proofreading. My trade book You Could Look It Up: The Reference Shelf from Ancient Babylon to Wikipedia came out in the early spring to mostly good notices. My current big research project is a biography of Shakespeare forger William Henry Ireland, which I'd like to finish, at least in a first draft, this year. And one of these days I hope to finish my facsimile edition of Tristram Shandy, to be accompanied by a huge bibliography of Sterne studies since 1978. I've already done most of the damn work; I should get a payoff.

And of course I continue to tout some recent books that have already appeared in the Bibliotheca Lynchiana.

Course Materials

The list of courses I've taught was getting too long for this page, so I've moved it all to another page.

All my classes (and anyone who's curious) are encouraged to consult my guide to grammar and style, my in-progress guide called “Getting an A on an English Paper,” and my very rough and incomplete guide to literary terms.


A few chunks of my dissertation are available on-line — but really, would it kill you to pony up the dough for The Age of Elizabeth in the Age of Johnson? And as I find the time to post papers I've delivered, they'll appear on their own page.

Personal Stuff

I've collected some miscellaneous links, some of them as close to fun as a downtrodden professor is allowed to get.

Short-Cuts to Pages I Maintain

Contact Me

Please feel free contact me with questions, comments, requests, and recommendations. E-mail is easiest. You can also write to

Jack Lynch
Department of English
Rutgers University
360 M. L. King Blvd.
Newark, N.J. 07102

My office phone is (973) 353-5204, but I check my voice mail only from the office, so it's an unreliable way of reaching me, especially when classes aren't in session.

Some general notes about these pages might make some things clear; you're encouraged to check them out before you contact me.