Digging Up Milton


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Jennifer Wallace


Jennifer Wallace

Jennifer Wallace grew up in London and Edinburgh. She studied Classics and English at Cambridge University where she now teaches English Literature.

Jennifer has published five non-fiction books and one work of fiction. In addition, she has co-edited three multi-author volumes of essays. She is interested in the Romantic poets, in ancient Greece, in archaeology, in the poetics of depth and what is missing, in tragedy and tragic drama, in photography, memoir and contemporary fiction, in women’s writing, in the ethics of literary criticism, in literary relics and good stories.

As well as academic writing on Romanticism, Classical reception and tragic drama, Jennifer has written for newspapers and magazines in the UK, USA and Japan. She wrote numerous feature articles for the Times Higher Education Supplement between 1995 and 2004, including interviews with Edward Said, Andre Brink, Slavoj Zizek, David Mamet and Judith Butler. Since then, she has reported, among other things, on biblical archaeology in Israel for Smithsonian Magazine, on the threat to tribal India from mining for a major photographic exhibition at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS (and related publications), and on environmental issues in Rajasthan for magazines in France and Japan. She writes travel articles regularly for ANA Wingspan in Japan, and has reviewed fiction and non-fiction for the Times Literary Supplement, the Times Higher Education Supplement and the LA Review of Books. She works frequently with her husband, the photographer Robert Wallis, on joint projects involving words and images.

Jennifer has a long-term interest in Greece, ancient and modern. For the last ten years she has served on the jury of the annual London Hellenic Prize which is awarded to an outstanding book in English related to, or inspired by, some aspect of Greece and she is a member of the Cambridge Greek Play committee which produces a play, performed in the original ancient Greek, every three years.

Contemporary Fiction

Digging Up Milton

London, 1790: John Milton, one of Britain’s greatest poets, has been dead for over a century. Lizzie Grant, gravedigger, wife and entrepreneur, is very much alive.

When Milton’s bones surface at St Giles’s Church in London’s Cripplegate, illiterate yet enterprising Lizzie seizes the opportunity to make her mark on history. But Lizzie hasn’t accounted for Milton’s power – as a hero, as a revolutionary and as a literary genius. Amongst circulating body parts and surrounded by hypocrisy, Lizzie’s dreams start to unravel.

This darkly humorous novel vividly captures the boisterous, bawdy life of the 18th century London streets in a tale of greed, guilt and a paradise lost.

'Jennifer Wallace is a clear and eloquent writer'
Sunday Telegraph


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