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Stephen Knight

Stephen Knight, a long-term British migrant, of Welsh family, is in retirement an honorary Professor of Literature at the University of Melbourne, having previously been at universities in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, and, finally, back in Cardiff. He specialised in medieval literature, writing books on Chaucer and Robin Hood, but he also reviewed crime fiction for the Sydney Morning Herald in the 1970s and 1980s, and has written several books on that topic.

Stephen Knight reviews three new novels on historical masculinity

April 2023, no. 452 28 March 2023
In recent historical fiction, women authors have explored the Australian past from a female viewpoint, as in Kate Grenville’s A Room Made of Leaves (2020), focusing on Elizabeth Macarthur, and Anita Heiss’s Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray, River of Dreams (2022), about Wagadhaany, an Indigenous woman from the Murrumbidgee River. As if in response to such potent novels, now comes a trio expressing ... (read more)

Stephen Knight reviews nine crime novels

July 1988, no. 102 02 September 2022
Ignored by literary historians, consumed quietly by the reading public, Australian crime fiction has been evident enough to readers of Miller and MacCartney’s classic bibliography, and restates its bloodied but unbowed presence in two forthcoming reference tools: Margaret Murphy’s Bibliography of Women Writers in Australia, many of whom write thrillers, and in Allen J. Hubin’s near-future th ... (read more)

Stephen Knight reviews 'Right words: A guide to English usage in Australia' by Stephen Murray-Smith

August 1987, no, 93 01 August 1987
If, as Dr Johnson opined, a lexicographer is a harmless drudge, what does that make a lexicographical reviewer? A potentially harmful drudge perhaps. Who else feels the need to consume a dictionary whole in one indigestible sequence? Drudgery indeed, and potentially harmful if as with the malign convention in this kind, the reviewer summarises the preface, reports a few humorous entries, takes ex ... (read more)