John North


Photo of John North

PhD, Alberta
MA, British Columbia

BA, British Columbia

Extension: 43743


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, 2018, full-text e-access.  ISBN

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. Series 1 & 2 both print and e-access. 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 Text’s the Thing: Reflections from the Humanities,” The Two Tasks of the Christian Scholar: Redeeming the Soul, Redeeming the Mind. Ed. William Lane Craig & Paul M. Gould, Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 2007, pp. 155-175.

The Waterloo Directory of Scottish Newspapers and Periodicals, 1800-1900. 2 vols. Waterloo: NWAP, 1989. 2198 pp. Second edition, 2018 full-text e-access.

The Waterloo Directory of Victorian Periodicals, 1824-1900. Phase 1.  Waterloo: WLU Press, 1976. 1186 pp.

Edited for the Pascal Lectures Series

“Introduction” to Margaret Avison, A Kind of Perseverance. Hantsport, Nova Scotia: Lancelot Press, 1994. Pp. 7-17.

Charles Malik, A Christian Critique of the UniversityDowners Grove, Illinois: IVPress, 1982; Waterloo: NWAPress, 1987. 3rdEdition, 2016, ISBN 0-921075-42-1

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.

“Introduction” to Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1982. Pp. vii-xiii.


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

  • Board of Advisors, Institute of Lebanese Thought, Notre Dame University-Louaize , Beirut, Lebanon. 2016 --
  • 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.”
  • Distinguished Teacher Award, University of Waterloo, 2003.
  • The Waterloo Directory series nominated in 2000 to the MLA list of the 100 most valuable reference works of the twentieth century.
  • 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.
  • University of Edinburgh Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities: Visiting Fellow, 1982.
  • Queens University Belfast Senior Visiting Research Fellow, 1981.
  • Killam Post-Doctoral Fellowship: Dalhousie (declined) and UBC.
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship

Work in Progress

The Waterloo Directory research continues, identifying, locating, reading and summarizing ongoing secondary research on various of the 75,000 titles published across the United Kingdom. The Directory is the gateway to the largest corpus of historical documents in the history of civilization to that time, as defined by the percentage of the world’s geography and peoples administered by Great Britain at the height of empire in the 19th century. Further described as an enumerative, descriptive and analytical bibliography. Consider that many titles had a daily distribution of between 250,000 and 500,000 for years.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

  • Victorian literature: essayists, novelists, poets, including pre-Raphaelitism.
  • Bibliography
  • Children's literature
  • Literature and the Bible
  • C.S. Lewis and his circle
  • Margaret Avison, Canadian poet