Joad Raymond Wren

Joad Raymond Wren is a Welsh writer, now based in London and Folkestone. He grew up poor in Cardiff, was educated at the University of East Anglia and Oxford University, and taught at the Universities of Oxford, Aberdeen, East Anglia, and Queen Mary, University of London. He held visiting posts in Florence, Granada and Paris. He departed academic life in 2022 in order to write full time.

In that past life he wrote about early modern Europe: about cheap print and news, angels, the role of the imagination in political thought, and the capacity of utopia to carry us beyond the horizons of our own thinking. Among the dozen books of which he is the author and editor are: News Networks in Early-Modern Europe (Brill, 2016), The Invention of the Newspaper: English Newsbooks, 1641-1649 (Oxford, 1996; 2005), Pamphlets and Pamphleteering in Early Modern Britain (Cambridge, 2003); Milton’s Angels: the Early-Modern Imagination (Oxford, 2010); and (ed.) The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture, vol. 1: Cheap Print in Britain and Ireland to 1660 (Oxford, 2011). His last academic book will be the forthcoming edition of Milton’s Latin Defences, for Oxford’s The Complete Works of John Milton, gen. eds. Thomas N. Corns and Gordon Campbell, for which he hopes to be rewarded in Heaven.

He intermittently contributes to TV and radio documentaries, talking about the history of printing, seventeenth-century print culture, seventeenth-century women, news and pamphlets. He has written for the Guardian, the TLS, the LRB, the TES, History Today, BBC History and other journals.

His other interests are mainly parenting, running, making and looking at art, making and listening to music, and staring at the sea. Under the name ‘The Unattached’ – a collaborative project with more accomplished musicians – he writes and performs avant-folk music. Their next album, Requiem for Dead Dogs, will be released by Gare du Nord in February 2024.

He has three other forthcoming books. The first, The News in Europe, 1400–1800, will be published by Penguin books in 2025. His first novel, entitled All the Colours You Cannot Name is forthcoming with Seren Books. And the third, also with Penguin, is a study of utopias throughout history and literature, entitled Utopia: A Traveller’s Guide.

Contact Information

Georgina Capel
email hidden; JavaScript is required
Rachel Conway
email hidden; JavaScript is required
Film, TV, Radio, Foreign Rights
Irene Baldoni
email hidden; JavaScript is required
Foreign Rights, Speaking & Engagements