Research InterestsVictorian Literature, the Pre-Raphaelites, Working-Class Writing
Faculty page of teaching and research materials: http://victorianfboos.studio.uiowa.edu/
Florence S. Boos teaches Victorian poetry, nonfiction prose, and cultural studies at Iowa. Her teaching and research interests include Pre-Raphaelite art and literature, working-class literature, the life and work of William Morris, poetry by women, and nineteenth-century social, political and intellectual history, as well as Marxist and feminist approaches to nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literature.
The general editor of the William Morris Archive, she has published critical works on the poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Morris, most recently History and Poetics in the Early Writings of William Morris, 1856-1870 (2015). She has also published annotated critical editions of Morris’s The Earthly Paradise, The Socialist Diary (second ed., 2018) and The Life and Death of Jason; and more than two hundred articles, essays, introductions, and reviews on related subjects. Her annotated anthology Working-Class Women Poets of Victorian Britain, a first attempt to identify the scope of these women’s lives and works, appeared in 2008, and The Memoirs of Victorian Working-Class Women: The Hard Way Up, appeared in 2017.
A former president of the Midwest Victorian Studies Association and the William Morris Society in the United States, she also serves on the advisory boards of Victorian Poetry, The Journal of William Morris Studies, The Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies, Cahiers Victoriens et Edwardiens, and the Archive of Working-Class Literature.
Over the years, she has directed more than fifty dissertations, and her former students now teach at a wide range of institutions in several countries. Eager to travel, she has participated in several teaching exchanges with the English departments of Háskoli Islands (the University of Iceland, in 1984), Københavns Universitet (the University of Copenhagen, in 1989), and the Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier (in 1996, 2001, 2005 and 2007). She has always been fond of manuscript research, and whenever possible journeys to England and Scotland to give talks, visit friends, and burrow in archives and repository libraries. With Morris (an agnostic), she never saw a cathedral she didn’t like, and she shares Borges’s conjecture that heaven (if it existed) would be “a kind of library.”