Penelope Murray read Classics at Newnham College, Cambridge, where she also took her Ph.D. She held Research Fellowships at King's College London and St. Anne's College, Oxford, before becoming a founder member of the Department of Classics at the University of Warwick. She was promoted to a Senior Lectureship in 1998, but has recently taken early retirement to have more time to write. She works on early Greek poetry and poetics, on philosophical responses to Athenian song-culture, especially the views of Plato, and on ancient literary criticism. She is also interested in the ways in which approaches to literature in the Westen tradition have been shaped by the classical inheritance. She has written extensively on these subjects, including articles on the Muses and on ancient conceptions of imagination and inspiration. Her books include Genius: the History of an Idea (Blackwell 1989); Plato on Poetry (Cambridge 1996); Classical Literary Criticism (Penguin 2000); Music and the Muses: the Culture of Mousike in the Classical Athenian City, co-edited with Peter Wilson (Oxford 2004).Current projects include A Companion to Ancient Aestheticsfor Wiley Blackwell, co-edited with Pierre Destree, and a book on the Muses for the Routledge Gods and Heroes of the Ancient World series.