Photo of John North

PhD, Alberta
MA, British Columbia

BA, British Columbia

Office: HH 223
Extension: 33743



Professor of English, educated at the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta. My literary interests are Victorian Studies, Shakespeare, Literature and the Bible, Children’s Literature. My primary research has been in nineteenth century British newspapers and periodicals bibliography. I was a founding member of the Pascal Lectures on Christianity and the University at the University of Waterloo.

Recent graduate seminars include the work of Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Charles Dickens, John Ruskin, J.S. Mill, J.H. Newman, the Bronte sisters; also the poetry of Canadian Margaret Avison, a personal friend for many years prior to her death in 2007.

Welcome to graduate students wishing to work on any aspect of Victorian Literature, Children’s Literature, or Literature and the Bible, and on any of the Oxford Inklings (J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams and their friends) or Canadian poet Margaret Avison.


  • The Waterloo Directory of Irish Newspapers and Periodicals, 1800-1900. Waterloo: NWAP, 1986. Second edition, 2 vols. 2015.  Editions both in print and on line.
  • The Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals, 1800-1900. Waterloo: NWAP. Series 1 (10 vols), 1994; Series 2 (20 vols), 2003; Series 3 (30 vols), 2013. Editions both in print and on line. Reviewed as “the fourth great Humanities reference work of Great Britain, after Johnson’s English Dictionary, the Dictionary of National Biography and the Oxford English Dictionary.”
  • The Waterloo Directory of Scottish Newspapers and Periodicals, 1800-1900. 2 vols. Waterloo: NWAP, 1989. 2198 pp. 
  • The Waterloo Directory of Victorian Periodicals, 1824-1900. Phase 1.  Waterloo: WLU Press, 1976. 1186 pp.

Edited for the Pascal Lectures Series

  • Margaret Avison, A Kind of Perseverance. Hantsport, Nova Scotia: Lancelot Press, 1994.
  • Charles Malik, A Christian Critique of the University. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVPress, 1982; Waterloo: NWAPress, 1987.
  • Donald M. MacKay, Science and the Quest for Meaning. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1982.  Translated into Japanese, 1982.
  • Josef Pieper, What is a Feast? Waterloo: NWAPress, 1982.
  • Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1982.


  • Love, Knowledge and the University; Essays and Poetry from the Christianity and Literature Study Group, Victoria 2013. NWAPress,, 2014.
  • Vital Candle; Victorian and Modern Bearings in Gerard Manley Hopkins. University of Waterloo Press, 1984 (with Michael Moore).
  • Computing in the Humanities; Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Computing in the Humanities. University of Waterloo Press. 1977 (with Serge Lusignan).
  • The English Quarterly, Journal of the Canadian Council of Teachers of English. University of Waterloo Press, 1972-1975.

Fellowships & Awards

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship
  • Killam Post-Doctoral Fellowship: Dalhousie (declined) and UBC.
  • Queens University Belfast Senior Visiting Research Fellow
  • University of Edinburgh Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities: Visiting Fellow
  • Distinguished Teacher Award, University of Waterloo
  • The Waterloo Directory series nominated in 2000 to the MLA list of the 100 most valuable  reference works of the twentieth century
  • SHARP (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing) 2006 Award for Distinguished Achievement, citing The Waterloo Directory as “one of the great feats of humanities scholarship in modern times, an essential reference to which anyone who works on the history of the printed word in the 19th century turns time and time again.”
  • Various research & travel grants from the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Alberta; the Bodleian library, Queen’s University, the University of Waterloo, the Nuffield Foundation, the British Academy, and SSHRC

Work in Progress

The Waterloo Directory series is being supplemented by a second edition of the Scottish and a first edition of the Welsh directories.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

  • Victorian literature
  • Bibliography
  • Children's literature
  • Literature and the Bible
  • C.S. Lewis and his circle
University of Waterloo

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