Meyer Howard Abrams was born in Long Branch, New Jersey in 1912. He studied English at Harvard University and attained his B.A. in 1934. He won a Henry fellowship to Cambridge University in 1935, where he was tutored by I. A. Richards. Abrams returned to Harvard for graduate school, and received his Masters' degree in 1937 and his PhD in 1940. Abrams set the standard of critical authority for American literary studies for the quarter century after World War II. He is the author of two syntheses of English Romantic thought, and has also been general and Romantic period editor of the most widely used college anthology of English literature; The Norton Anthology of English Literature, as well as author of a popular Glossary of Literary Terms, and several influential essays on English Romanticism. Abrams's dissertation written in 1940, was expanded and published in 1953 as The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition. The Mirror and the Lamp contributed to the legitimation of English Romanticism as a field of study. Nearly 20 years later, in Natural Supernaturalism, Abrams asserted a different thesis with similar authority.
Carol T. Christ (Ph.D. Yale) is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of California, Berkeley, and President of Smith College. She is the author of The Finer Optic: The Aesthetic of Particularity and Victorian Poetry and Victorian and Modern Poetics and editor of the Norton Critical Edition of The Mill on the Floss and, with John Jordan, Victorian Literature and the Victorian Visual Imagination. She is the recipient of an NEH Fellowship and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Alfred David (Ph.D. Harvard) is Professor of English Emeritus at Indiana University. He is the author of The Strumpet Muse: Art and Morals in Chaucer's Poetry, and editor of the "Romaunt of the Rose" in The Riverside Chaucer and, with George B. Pace, "Chaucer's Minor Poems I" in The Variorum Chaucer. He is the recipient of a Sheldon Travelling Fellowship and Guggenheim and Fulbright Research fellowships and past president of the New Chaucer Society.
Stephen Greenblatt is a literary critic, theorist and scholar. He is the author of Three Modern Satirists: Waugh, Orwell, and Huxley (1965); Renaissance Self-Fashioning: From More to Shakespeare (1980); Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture (1990); Redrawing the Boundaries: The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies (1992); The Norton Shakespeare (1997); Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare (2004); Shakespeare's Freedom (2010); and The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (2011).