Dr Dan Sperrin, Trinity




Biographical Information

I am a JRF in English at Trinity College. Before I arrived in Cambridge, I completed my BA, M.St, and D.Phil in Oxford. I am also a political cartoonist for The London Magazine. Cartoons can be found on Instagram: @dansperrin_cartoons

Research Interests

I mainly work on satire and satirists (with a special interest in the period 1660-1760). I'm currently writing a long history of satire in English literature for Princeton UP. As part of the book, I am also looking into the parallel history of graphic satire and the long line of graphic satirists which runs from Hogarth through to Gillray, Rowlandson, Cruikshank, Tenniel, and then up to Low and Scarfe in the twentieth century. I am also co-editing 'Gryll Grange' for The Cambridge Edition of the Novels of Thomas Love Peacock. 

Alongside the two books, I am publishing on things like mock-heroic literature, Augustan poetics, and the reception of the ancient satirists after the Restoration. In relation to literary satire, I am currently working on a sequence of related articles which investigate the relationship between burlesque/mock-heroism and war. In relation to graphic satire, I am currently working on two long articles about Hogarth and David Low, which will be incorporated into a book about the graphic satirists once I have finished my history of satire. 

Other interests include international relations in the early modern period, the English reception of Cervantes, the writings and drawings of Mervyn Peake, continental graphic satire (especially Daumier and Goya), and the psychoanalytical writings of R. D. Laing. 

Selected Publications


A History of Satire in English Literature (Princeton University Press). Forthcoming 2024. 

'Gryll Grange', Vol.7 of The Cambridge Edition of the Novels of Thomas Love Peacock, ed. Freya Johnston (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016 -). Forthcoming 2025. 

Articles on Swift:

— 'Swift and the Secret World' [forthcoming 2024]

— 'Swift's War and Peace', Review of English Studies, 74 (2023), pp.668-83. 

— ‘Splitting Allegiances: A Reading of Swift’s On the Words — Brother Protestants and Fellow Christians’, Cambridge Quarterly, 52:1 (2023), pp.38-59. 

— ‘Swift’s Control: Rhetorical Strategies at Work in Maxims Controlled in Ireland’, Swift Studies, 37 (2022), pp.156-176. 

— ‘Cozening Swift and Dryden’, Essays In Criticism, 68:2 (2018), pp.167-189. 

Articles on other satirists: 

— 'Imperial Satire Redux: A Political Reading of Dryden's Discourse on Satire', Literature and History [forthcoming 2024]

— ‘The Augustan Plath: “Gulliver” and Other Poems’, The Journal of Modern Literature, 47:1 (2024), pp.98-117. 

— ‘Wyatt: Satirist in Secret’, Essays In Criticism, 73:1 (2023), pp.9-29. 

— ‘Butler’s Doubtful Heroism’, Literary Imagination, 24:3 (2022), pp.1-15. 

— ‘Pope’s Judgment: the Essay On Criticism Manuscript and its Footnotes’, The Bodleian Library Record, 30:1-2 (2017), pp.95-111. 

Articles on graphic satire: 

— 'Thackeray's Drawings and Watercolours' [forthcoming 2024, based on a collection of these materials in the Wren Library at Trinity College, Cambridge]

— 'The Development of David Low's Satire on the Dictators, 1918-1945' [forthcoming 2024, based on archival research on the David Low papers in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library]. 

— 'A New Political Commentary on Hogarth's Humours of an Election (1755)' [forthcoming 2024]

— 'Hogarth's Don Quixote', Master Drawings [forthcoming Spring 2024]. Part of a special issue dedicated to British drawing and engraving.