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J.M. Ivo Klaver

University of Urbino, Piazza Rinascimento 7, 61029 Urbino

After graduating in English Language and Literature (MA) at the University of Groningen, in 1987, Jan Marten Ivo Klaver began a teaching English Literature at the University of Urbino, where he has been working since 1989. In 1997 he received a PhD "cum laude" from the University of Amsterdam for a dissertation on the nineteenth-century history of ideas and English literature.

His first book, Geology and Religious Sentiment: The Effect of geological Discoveries on English Society and Literature between 1829 and 1859, was published by Brill (Leiden/New York 1997). It was favourably reviewed by the Journal of Ecclessiastical History, The Dutch Review of Church History, and the Times Literary Supllement described it as “a revisionist tract, and an exciting read in an appropriately understated way”. In 1998 he started doing research on the influential Victorian clergyman and novelist Charles Kingsley, a project which has resulted in a 680-page critical biography (The Apostle of the Flesh: A Critical Life of Charles Kingsley, Brill, Leiden/Boston 2006). It has been hailed by the reviewers as the definite life of Charles Kingsley. His 1999 essay on George Eliot’s Mill on the Floss has been chosen by the editor of the New Riverside Edition (Houghton Mifflin 2004) to accompany the text of this Victorian classic. As one of the most significant twentieth-century critical responses to the novel, it has been reprinted there in full.

He is currently working on late eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century travel accounts to the Near East, to be published by Oxford University Press. He regularly reviews on nineteenth-century issues for Blackwell’s Heythrop Journal (London University), and is a contributor to the Grolier Encyclopedia of the Victorian Period.           

Klaver’s approach to nineteenth-century literature has been much influenced by the English tradition of Cultural Studies and he is constantly vigilant to the interplay between the world of ideas and their literary expression. His teaching has mainly involved the giving of courses on the literature of the long nineteenth century (1780 to 1915), including courses on Romanticism, the Victorian Period, and the early twentieth century.

Research interests

Nineteenth-Century English Literature; History of Ideas


Recent publications

Geology and Religious Sentiment: The Effect of Geological Discoveries on English Society and Literature (1829-1859), Leiden/New York, Brill, 1997.

"Charles Kingsley and the Limits of Humanity" in Dutch Review of Church History (Leiden University) 81(2), 2001, pp.115-141.

"Muscular Christianity", in The Encyclopedia of the Victorian Era, ed. by Tom Pendergast, Sara Pendergast, James Eli Adams, 4 vols. Danbury, CT: Grolier Academic Press, 2004.

" 'I will ferry thee across': The Meaning of Fluvialism in George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss", in George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, ed. by Nancy Herbert (New Riverside Editions/Houghton Mifflin, Boston/New York), 2004, pp.620-634.

The Apostle of the Flesh: A Critical Life of Charles Kingsley Leiden/Boston, Brill, 2006.

"Romanticism and Religion", in The Heythrop Journal (Blackwell), 48(5), 2007, 780-789.

Scientific Expeditions to the Arab World (1761-1881), Oxford University Press (forthcoming, 2009)


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