John Roe is Professor of English and Related Literature at the University of York, where he has taught for many years, apart from periods of leave of absence when he has been a visiting professor in Kyoto and Kobe, Japan (three years in all), and in the United States. He has a keen interest in Comparative Literature and he completed his doctorate on English and Italian Renaissance literature at Harvard University. His subject was ‘Petrarch and Sixteenth-Century English Poetic Language’. More recently he has published Shakespeare and Machiavelli (Boydell & Brewer, 2002) which compares the rhetorical practice of each author and looks at the political situations in Shakespeare’s plays in the light of Machiavellian precept. He has also edited The Poems of Shakespeare (updated edition, Cambridge, 2006), in the introduction to which he observes Italian influence, especially Castiglione’s concept of sprezzatura, which helps fashion the stylistic poise and easy, self-confident narrative manner of a poem such as Venus and Adonis. With his Italian colleague Michele Stanco (University of Naples) he has edited a volume on Inspiration and Technique: Ancient to Modern Views on Beauty and Art (Peter Lang, 2006). These essays to a large degree consider the relationship between creative inspiration and the formal expression of art and literature. John Roe also has an interest in modern American poetry, especially those poets who flourished in the 1950s and 1960s, such as Robert Lowell, John Berryman, and Richard Wilbur. He has recently completed a long piece on John Berryman and Shakespeare (due to be published in 2011), which will form part of a publication in the Continuum Great Shakespeareans series.