Nicholas Michael Groom FRSA (born 1966) is Professor of English Literature at the University of Exeter, a critically acclaimed author on subjects ranging from the history of the Union Jack to Thomas Chatterton, has edited several books and regularly appears on television, radio and at literary festivals as an authority on English Literature, seasonal customs, J. R. R. Tolkien, the ‘Gothic’ and ‘British’ and 'English' identities. Due to his extensive work on the Gothic, especially on the history of vampires, he has become known as the 'Prof of Goth' in the media and has written several articles on the Goth scene, including essays on the singer, Nick Cave.
Nick Groom was born in 1966 and educated at Bedford Modern School and Hertford College, Oxford where he graduated with double first class honours in 1988. He was awarded a DPhil (Oxon) in 1994 with his doctoral thesis, Thomas Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English Poetry: Its Context, Presentation, and Reception.
Groom became a lecturer in English at the University of Exeter in 1994, a Senior Lecturer in Post-Medieval Literature at the University of Bristol in 2000 and Reader in English Literature at the University of Bristol in 2003. In April 2000 he was a Visiting Associate Professor at Stanford University following which he was made Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago in October 2001.
In 2007 Groom was made Professor of English Literature at the University of Exeter and established the Exeter Centre for Literatures of Identity, Place and Sustainability in 2008. He is on the management board of the Atlantic Archipelagos Research Consortium and the Wellcome Centre for the Cultures and Environments of Health.
Groom teaches courses on the Gothic. He also teaches the only undergraduate course in Britain on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien.
Groom’s research has ‘largely focussed on three areas; cultural formation and authenticity, including attribution studies (work on forgery and, specifically, Chatterton); national identity (Englishness and Britishness, including the Gothic); and historicist popular culture and folklore (seasons and saints’ days)’. He has recently concentrated particularly on Gothic literature. His book The Seasons was shortlisted for the Katherine Briggs Folklore Prize and was runner-up for BBC Countryfile Book of the Year 2014.
Groom wrote an essay on The Young Ones for The Cassell Book of Great British Comedy and in 2008 he nominated Rik Mayall for an Honorary Degree at the University of Exeter. Following Mayall’s death in 2014, Groom was regularly interviewed to comment on Mayall’s unique contribution to English comedy.
Groom is a critically acclaimed author, has edited several books including four Gothic novels for Oxford University Press and a twelve volume edition of The Plays of William Shakespeare (London and Bristol: Routledge/Thoemmes Press, 1995), has contributed over seventy chapters and articles to edited collections and academic journals and has regularly reviewed books for The Financial Times, Times Higher Education and The Independent. He is currently a contributor to the Times Literary Supplement. His online essay "Let's discuss over country supper soon" was used for 'Creating a Countryside', the 2017 exhibition at Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park.
Groom lives on Dartmoor. He has a flock of sheep and is actively involved in local arts and music.