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Dr Raphael Lyne
Faculty of English
Telephone: 01223 762503
Murray Edwards College
Raphael Lyne read English at St John's College, Cambridge, from 1989-1992, and carried straight on do to an M.Phil. and then a Ph.D. entitled 'Studies in the English Imitation and Translation of Ovid, 1567-1609'. This included chapters on Arthur Golding, Thomas Churchyard, Christopher Marlowe, John Donne, Michael Drayton, and Thomas Heywood. The degree was awarded in 1996. From 1996-1998 he was a Lumley Research Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge, and then, in October 1998, he became a College Lecturer at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, before becoming a University Lecturer, still based at Murray Edwards College, in 2002. He was promoted to a Readership in 2013. He teaches sixteenth and seventeenth century literature, including Shakespeare wherever possible. He also teaches on Cambridge papers in Tragedy, Latin Literature, English Language, and the Special Period 1500-1547.
In 2001 he published his first book, Ovid's Changing Worlds: English Metamorphoses 1567-1632, which aimed to rethink the influence of Ovid on writers in the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. In 2007 he published Shakespeare’s Late Work in the Oxford Shakespeare Topics series. This book is an introduction to all the works written in the latter part of Shakespeare’s career, including his collaborations with Fletcher. In the same year Early Modern Tragicomedy (co-edited with Subha Mukherji) was published by Boydell and Brewer. He has also written numerous articles on various aspects of renaissance literature, Shakespeare, and the classical tradition.
Since 2004 he has been working within the field broadly known as cognitive theory – that is, the interpretation of literature in the light of scientists’ theories about the workings of the brain. This work has various strands. One – on metaphor and thought – has led to a book, Shakespeare, Rhetoric, and Cognition, which was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011. Another strand – reinterpreting literary imitation and allusion as kinds of memory – will soon become Memory and Intertextuality in Renaissance Literature. A third strand – initially on literary recognition and perception, but broadening into a wider interest in drama as a means of psychological experiment – has resulted in a couple of essays (e.g. 'The Shakespearean Grasp', Cambridge Quarterly, 2013), and an ambitious plan to collaborate with cognitive scientists and theatre professionals.
Alongside the cognitive work, he is working towards an edition of Shakespeare’s poems (co-edited with Cathy Shrank) for the Longman Annotated English Poets series. He has also started a blog, 'What Literature Knows About Your Brain'.
Raphael Lyne lives in Cambridge with his wife, his daughter, and his son (the driver of the car in the picture; he likes the picture too much to take it down, but he needs to say that the picture was taken in about 2003).