Patrick Cheney

Patrick Cheney

Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and Comparative Literature
119 Burrowes Bldg.
Patrick Cheney


B.A. University of Montana. Missoula, MT. 1972.
M.A. University of Toronto. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 1974.
Ph.D. University of Toronto. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 1979.

Professional Bio

Patrick Cheney specializes in English Renaissance literature. His interests include authorship, influence and intertextuality, literary careers, genre, classical reception, nationhood, republicanism, the sublime, and the relation between poetry and drama.

His books include Reading Sixteenth-Century Poetry (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011); Marlowe’s Republican Authorship: Lucan, Liberty, and the Sublime (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009); Shakespeare’s Literary Authorship (Cambridge, 2008); Shakespeare, National Poet-Playwright (Cambridge, 2004); Marlowe's Counterfeit Profession: Ovid, Spenser, Counter-Nationhood (Toronto, 1997); and Spenser's Famous Flight: A Renaissance Idea of a Literary Career (Toronto, 1993).  He has also edited The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare’s Poetry (2007) and The Cambridge Companion to Christopher Marlowe (2004), as well as co-edited a number of collections on Renaissance poetry and drama, including a two-volume set on this topic from Oxford University Press.

Forthcoming from Cambridge University Press is a new monograph: English Authorship and the Early Modern Sublime: Spenser, Marlowe, Jonson, Shakespeare.  Recently, Cheney has been commissioned by Oxford University Press to be General Editor of the 15-volume Oxford History of Poetry in English, which will include three-volume sets on five eras: Medieval, Early Modern, Modern British and Irish, American, and Global. Coordinating Editors will be Robert R. Edwards (Penn State), Laura L. Knoppers (Penn State), Michael O’Neill (Durham), Langdon Hammer (Yale), and Vinay Dharwadker (Wisconsin).

Cheney also works in the area of textual scholarship.  He is a General Editor of the six-volume Oxford Edition of the Collected Works of Edmund Spenser (forthcoming, 2014--); Textual Editor of “The Poems” for the 3rd Edition of The Norton Shakespeare (2014); and Co-editor of The Collected Poems of Christopher Marlowe (Oxford, 2006).

Currently, Cheney is on the editorial boards of Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Marlowe Studies: An Annual,Oxford Bibliographies, The Spenser Review, and Authorship. He has received grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Bibliographical Society of America, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and his two books on Marlowe have won the Roma Gill Award from the Marlowe Society of America. For the past decade, he has served regularly as a reviewer of book manuscripts for Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press.

In 2001, Cheney was Visiting Research Fellow at Merton College, Oxford; and in 2010, he received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Montana.  In 2011, he was the Connolly Lecturer at Grinnell College, as well as recipient of the Faculty Scholar Medal from Penn State for research in the arts and humanities.


  • Renaissance Literature
  • Book History and Textual Studies