Sir Jonathan Bate is an academic, biographer, critic, broadcaster, novelist and scholar.
He is Foundation Professor of Environmental Humanities in a joint appointment of the College of Liberal Arts, the School of Sustainability and the Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University, as well as a Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College in the University of Oxford, where he holds the title of Professor of English Literature. From 2017 to 2019 he was Gresham Professor of Rhetoric in the City of London. Until September 2019 he was Provost of Worcester College, Oxford. He was knighted in 2015 for services to literary scholarship and higher education. His creative works include Being Shakespeare, a one-man play for Simon Callow, which toured nationally and played at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe prior to three West End runs, as well as transfers to New York, Chicago and Trieste. He was consultant curator for the British Museum’s Round Reading Room exhibition for the London 2012 Olympics Festival of Culture and is a Trustee of the Hawthornden Literary Retreat. He is the author of a number of books including his biography of John Clare (2003) which won the Hawthornden Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for biography), as well as being short listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Royal Society of Literature Heinemann Prize and the South Bank Show Awards and in America it won the NAMI Book Award. His 2015 biography, Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life, was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and was named by the Biographers’ International Organization as the outstanding biography of the year in the category of Arts and Literature.