Dr. Péter Dávidházi

professor emeritus

Dr. Péter Dávidházi HU


Born in 1948 in Tata, I have lived most of my life in Budapest. I studied at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, from 1968 to 1973, majoring in English and Hungarian philology. As a post-graduate, I studied nineteenth-century literature at the University of Sussex in 1977-1978. Since 1973 I have been teaching English poetry (mainly 18th and 19th centuries), Shakespeare studies, and modern English and American criticism at the Department of English Studies, Eötvös Loránd University. Simultaneously, since 1985, I have been working as a full-time researcher at the Institute for Literary Studies of the Hungarian Academy. In 1989 I was appointed head of the Department of 19th-Century Literature at the Institute. Now I am a professor emeritus at both places. In 2003 I taught 18th-century English philosophical poetry at the University of California, Irvine. In 2002 I was elected a member of the advisory board of the biannual Shakespeare conferences in Stratford-upon-Avon. From 2003 to 2008 I was the Hungarian delegate to the Standing Committee for the Humanities, of the European Science Foundation. In 2010 I was elected a member by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in 2012, by Academia Europaea. Of my prizes and awards the highest is the Széchenyi Prize (2006).


The themes of my research are mainly fourfold: (1) Shakespeare's plays and the history of his cult; (2) the poetic and critical works of János Arany; (3) Ferenc Toldy and the rise of Hungarian literary scholarship; (4) biblical patterns in Shakespeare and Hungarian poetry. 

Selected publications:


  • ''Isten másodszülöttje''. A magyar Shakespeare-kultusz természetrajza [God's Second Born: Anatomy of the Hungarian Cult of Shakespeare]. Budapest, Gondolat Könyvkiadó, 1989, pp. VIII, 377.
  • Hunyt mesterünk. Arany János kritikusi öröksége. Budapest, Argumentum Kiadó, 1992, 1994, pp. 417.
  • The Romantic Cult of Shakespeare: Literary Reception in Anthropological Perspective. Basingstoke, London, New York: Macmillan Press and St. Martin's Press, 1998, pp. XIV, 240. (Romanticism in Perspective: Texts, Cultures, Histories. Series editors Marilyn Gaull and Stephen Prickett.)
  • Egy nemzeti tudomány születése. Toldy Ferenc és a magyar irodalomtörténet. [Birth of a National Scholarship: Ferenc Toldy and Hungarian Literary History] Budapest, Akadémiai Kiadó, Universitas Kiadó, 2004. pp. 1028.
  • Menj, vándor: Swift sírfelirata és a hagyományrétegződés. [Go, Traveller: Swift's Epitaph and The Layers of Tradition] Pécs, Pro Pannonia Kiadói Alapítvány, 2009 (Thienemann-előadások, 4), pp. 199.
  • "Vagy jőni fog". Bibliai minták nemzetiesítése a magyar költészetben. ["Or It will Come" The National Appropriation of Biblical Patterns in Hungarian Poetry] Budapest, Ráció, 2017. pp. 527.

Selected conferences

In the last 50 years I have attended several hundred conferences. Most important of them were the biannual international Shakespeare conferences in Stratford-upon-Avon, where I have been serving, since 2002, as a member of the advisory board.




Since my retirement in 2018 I do not teach regular courses any more, except giving occasional lectures and always being available for consultations. 


Formally, I don't supervise PhD dissertations any more, but I am still happy to read sample chapters and give advice. My office hours are open to students and faculty.

Further information

MTMT azonosító: 1134083
MTA ID: 10000663
Scopus ID: 16434255700
Köztestületi azonosító: 05035