Robert Zaller, historian, critic, poet, and playwright, is the Distinguished University Professor of History at Drexel University. An authority on British constitutional thought and American literature, he has written extensively on modern literature, art, film, theater, music, and politics, and is a frequent commentator on the Greek political scene. A native of New York, he lives in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, with his wife, the poet, actress, and musician Lili Bita.


The Year One. Twenty poems.
Auburn, CA: Blue Oak Press. 1969.

The Parliament of 1621: A Study in Constitutional Conflict.
Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. 1971.
Phi Alpha Theta Prize, 1972.

A Casebook on Anais Nin. Editor.
New York: New American Library. 1974.

Lives of the Poet. Thirty-three poems.
New York: Barlenmir House. 1974.

Co-editor, Biographical Dictionary of British Radicals in the Seventeenth Century.
Brighton, Sussex: Harvester Press.
Vol. I (A-F): 1982.
Vol. II (G-O): 1983.
Vol. III (P-Z): 1984.

The Cliffs of Solitude: A Reading of Robinson Jeffers.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1983.
Tor House Foundation Award 1984.

Europe in Transition, 1660-1815.
New York: Harper & Row. 1984.

Editor, The Tribute of His Peers: Elegies for Robinson Jeffers.
Carmel, CA: Tor House Press. 1989.

Co-author, Civilizations of the World: The Human Adventure.
New York: Harper & Row. 1990.
2d ed. New York: HarperCollins. 1993.
3rd ed. New York: Longman. 1997.

Editor, Centennial Essays for Robinson Jeffers.
Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press. 1991.

Coauthor, Civilizations of the West: The Human Adventure.
New York: HarperCollins. 1992.
Brief edition: New York: HarperCollins. 1994.
2d ed. New York: Longman. 1997.

For Empedocles. Twelve poems.
Athens, Greece: European Arts Center. 1996.

The Scorpion and Other Stories.
Translated from the Greek of Lili Bita.
New York: Pella. 1998.

Sister of Darkness.
Translated from the Greek of Lili Bita.
Boston: Somerset Hall Press. 2005.

Thirty Years in the Rain: The Selected Poetry of Nikiforos Vrettakos.
Translated from the Greek in collaboration with Lili Bita.
Boston: Somerset Hall Press. 2005.

Islands. Forty-eight poems.
Boston: Somerset Hall Press. 2006.

The Discourse of Legitimacy in Early Modern England.
Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press. 2007.

Editor, The Classic Historians.
Deer Park, N.Y.: Linus Publications. 2009.

Robinson Jeffers and the American Sublime.
Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press. 2012.

Speaking to Power. Forty-eight poems.
Philadelphia: Moonstone Books. 2015.

Contributions to Books

“Waiting for Leviathan.”
Patrick A. McCarthy, ed., Critical Essays on Samuel Beckett.
Boston: G. K. Hall (1986): 160-173.

“Spheral Eternity: Time, Form, and Meaning in Robinson Jeffers.”
James Karman, ed., Critical Essays on Robinson Jeffers.
Boston: G. K. Hall (1990): 252-265.

“The Good Old Cause and the Crisis of 1659.”
Gordon Schochet, ed., Restoration, Ideology, and Revolution: Vol. IV of the
Proceedings of the Folger Institute Seminar in British Political History.
Washington, DC: Folger Shakespeare Library (1990): 23-43

“Robinson Jeffers.”
George Perkins, Barbara Perkins, and Philip Leininger, eds., Benet’s Reader’s
Encyclopedia of American Literature.
New York: HarperCollins (1991): 534-535.

“Parliament and the Crisis of European Liberty.”
J. H. Hexter, ed., The Making of Modern Freedom, Vol. I: Parliament and Liberty from the Reign of Queen Elizabeth to the English Civil War.
Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press (1992): 201-224; 309-313.

“The Giant Hand: William Everson on Robinson Jeffers.”
James B. Hall et al., eds. Critical Perspectives on William Everson.
Grant’s Pass, OR: Castle Peak Editions (1992): 336-365.

“Robinson Jeffers and the Uses of History.”
Robert Brophy, ed. Robinson Jeffers: Dimensions of a Poet.
New York: Fordham University Press (1995): 30-47.

“After the Revolution: Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor.”
Lawrence Goldstein and Ira Koenigsberg, eds. The Movies: Texts, Receptions,
Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press (1996): 98-112. [Reprint]

Bruce H. Sklarew et al., eds. Bertolucci: Multiple Takes.
Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press (1998): 235-250.

Contemporary Literary Criticism, 157 (2002): 26-32. Gale Publishers.

“Robert Musil and the Novel of Metastasis.”
Harold Bloom, ed. Bloom’s Modern Critical Interpretations: Robert Musil’s The Man without Qualities.
Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers (2004): 93-112. [Reprint]

“Francis Bacon.” “Impeachment.” “The Parliament of 1621.”
Ronald Fritz and William S. Robison, eds. Historical Dictionary of Stuart
Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press (1996): 32-34, 241-243, 375-377.

“Francis Bacon.”
Paul F. Grendler, ed. Encyclopedia of the Renaissance.
New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1999.

“Northern Ireland.”
Charles F. Bahmueller,ed. World Conflicts and Confrontations. 4 vols.
Pasadena, Cal.: Salem Press (1999): 873-887.

“Edward Alford.” “John Bremen.” “William Cole.” “John Gladman.” “Richard
Martin.” “Henry Robinson.” “Francis White.” “John Wilde.”
Brian Harrison, ed. Oxford New Dictionary of National Biography. 60 vols.
Oxford: Oxford University Press (2004): 1: 712-714; 7: 437-438; 12: 532-533;
22: 370-371; 36: 971-972; 47: 340-342; 58: 560-561, 908-910.

“The War on Terror.”
John C. Super, ed. Magill’s Choice: The United States at War. 2 vols.
Pasadena, Cal.: Salem Press (2005): 732-744.

“Discourses of Legitimacy: Honor and Authority in the Parliament of 1626.”
Dimitri Bondarenko and Alexander A. Nemirovsky, eds., Hierarchy and Power in
the History of Civilizations: Selected Papers.
Moscow: Center for Civilizational and Regional Studies of the Russian Academy
of Sciences (2007): 184-195.

“Representative Government: How Sure a Thing?”
Maija Jansson, ed. Realities of Representation: State Building in Early Modern
Europe and European America.
New York: Palgrave Macmillan (2007): 215-224.

“Oliver Cromwell.”
Daniel Patte, ed. Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2010): 288.

“Jeffers, Pessimism, and Time.”
ShaunAnne Tangney, ed. The Wild That Attracts Us: New Critical Essays on
Robinson Jeffers.

Selected Articles

“Interest of State: James I and the Palatinate.”
Albion (1974): 144-175.

“Bernardo Bertolucci, or Nostalgia for the Present.”
Massachusetts Review (1975): 807-828.

“Melville and the Myth of Revolution.”
Studies in Romanticism (1976): 607-622.

“Let Us Now Praise James Agee.”
Southern Literary Journal (1978): 144-154.

“The Concept of Opposition in Early Modern England.”
Albion (1980): 211-234.

“The Continuity of British Radicalism in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.”
Eighteenth Century Life (1981): 17-38.

“Edward Alford and the Making of Country Radicalism.”
Journal of British Studies (1983): 59-79.

“The Creature Poetry of Stanley Burnshaw.”
Agenda (1984): 32-41.
Reprinted in The Carrell (1985): 22-30.

“What Does the English Revolution Mean? Recent Historiographical Interpretations of
Mid-Seventeenth Cemtury England.”
Albion (1986): 617-635.

“Robinson Jeffers, American Poetry, and a Thousand Years.”
Agenda (1986-87): 89-104. Reprinted in Centennial Essays for Robinson Jeffers.

“The Debate on Capital Punishment During the English Revolution.”
American Journal of Legal History (1987): 126-144.

“Philip Guston and the Crisis of the Image.”
Critical Inquiry (1987): 69-94.

“After the Revolution: Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor.
Michigan Quarterly Review (1989): 79-93. Variously reprinted; see above.

“Legitimation and Delegitimation in Early Modern Europe: The Case of England.”
History of European Ideas (1989): 141-165.

“Rituals of Death in Postwar American Film.”
New Orleans Review (1990): 80-87.

“The Waiting Game: Temporal Strategies in Waiting for Godot and Endgame.”
Boulevard (1991): 12-35.

“Land and Value: The Ecology of Robinson Jeffers.”
Western American Literature (1991): 9-20.

“Henry Parker and the Regiment of True Government.”
Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society (1991): 255-285.

“The Creature Poetry of Stanley Burnshaw.”
The Carrell (1991): 25-35; reprinted in Agenda, 35-48.

“The Figure of the Tyrant in English Revolutionary Thought.”
Journal of the History of Ideas (1993): 585-610.

“American Psycho, American Censorship, and the Dahmer Case.”
Revue francais d’etudes americaines (1993): 317-325.

“A Sketch for an Aesthetic: Process, Value, and Moral Beauty in Jeffers.”
Jeffers Studies (1997): 18-28.

“Robinson Jeffers, Narrative, and the American Family Romance.”
Journal of Narrative Technique (1997): 234-248.

“’Home’: A ‘Lost’ Jeffers Narrative.”
Western American Literature (1997): 115-124.

“Robinson Jeffers and the California Sublime.”
Jeffers Studies (1997): 40-84.

“Robert Musil and the Novel of Metastasis.”
Boulevard (1998): 96-118. Reprint citations above.

“Breaking the Vessels: The Desacralization of Monarchy in Early Modern England.”
Sixteenth Century Journal (1998): 757-778.

“Raising the Seventies: The Early Films of Terrence Malick.”
Boulevard (1999): 141-155.

“Jeffers’ Heavenly Meditations.”
Jeffers Studies (1999): 55-72.

“Dissecting the Body: Capital Punishment as Modernist and Post-Modernist
Boulevard (2000): 211-233.

“The End of Prophecy: ‘The Double Axe’ and the Nuclear Sublime.”
Jeffers Studies (2000): 47-58.

“Jeffers, Rexroth, and the Trope of Hellenism.”
Western American Literature (2001): 153-169.

“Punishing Horses: Animal Cruelty and the Symbolism of Evil in Jeffers.”
Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment (2002): 69-81.
Reprinted in Irish Pages (2002): 95-107.

“King, Commons, and Commonweal in Holshined’s Chronicles.”
Albion (2002): 371-390.

“Consequences of Rorty: On a Postmetaphysical Liberalism.”
Boulevard (2002): 30-49.

“Hans Reiter and the Politics of Remembrance.”
Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism (2003): 37-41.

“Thomas McGrath: The Poet as Revolutionary, the Revolutionary as Poet.”
Boulevard (2003): 181-188.

“Jeffers, Stevens, and the Decreative Sublime.”
Boulevard (2003): 151-161.

“’So Brave in a Void’: Milosz’s Dialogue with Jeffers.”
Jeffers Studies (2004): 43-52.

“’Send the Head to Angelo’: Capital Punishment in Measure for Measure.”
The Upstart Crow (2004): 63-71.

“Landscape as Divination: Reading ‘Apology for Bad Dreams.’”
Jeffers Studies (2004): 21-30.

“The Abandoned Studio: Philip Guston’s Gnostic Testament.”
Boulevard (2005): 100-122.

“Kenneth Rexroth’s Divine Comedy.”
Boulevard (2006): 229-252.

“The Theme of Resurrection in Jeffers’s Later Narratives.”
Jeffers Studies (2006-07): 119-139.

“An Early Modern Crisis of Civil Liberties: King, Parliament, and the Law in England,
International Journal of the Humanities (2007): 1-6.

“Jeffers’s Isolationism.”
Jeffers Studies (2008): 27-39.

“The Three Deaths of Jean Amery.”
Boulevard (2008): 104-126.

“Lincoln the Writer.”
Schuylkill Valley Journal (2009): 103-110.

“Jeffers’s Hitler.”
Jeffers Studies (2009): 49-64.

“’A Terrible Genius’: Robinson Jeffers’s Art of Narrative.”
Western American Literature (2011): 27-44.

“Stanley Burnshaw: A Poet in the World.”
Jacket2 (2011): 5757 words.

“Who Speaks for Matisse? American Philanthropy and the Barnes Foundation.”
Boulevard (2011): 133-156.

“In the Hall of German Memory: Kiefer, Sebald, and the Road from Auschwitz.”
Boulevard (2012): 105-138.

“Robinson Jeffers and the Horns of Truth.”
Bouelvard (2013): 153-175.

“William Bronk and the Actual World.”
Boulevard (2015): 1-25.

“Mara: The Poem of Foreboding.”
Jeffers Stuides. In Press.
“Jeffers, Milosz, and the Crisis of Modernism.”
Schuylkill Valley Journal. In Press.


Verse, literary translation, opinion essays, reportage, and book and film criticism in American Poetry Review, American Book Review, American Historical Review, Broad Street Review, Confrontation, Film and History, The Historian, History: Reviews of New Books, The Journal of British Studies, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Journal of Modern Greek Studies, The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, The Nation, The New York Times Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Prairie Schooner, Rain Taxi Review of Books, Talisman, Texas Review, and numerous other publications.