Bachelor of Arts, Trinity College, 1946; postgraduate, University College postgraduate, England U., 1954-1956; Master of Arts, University of Chicago, 1949; Doctor of Philosophy, University Chicago, 1958.
Instructor English, Marquette U., 1949-1950; from instructor to associate Professor of English, Northwestern University, 1953-1954, 56-65; Professor of English, University of Wisconsin, since 1965; Merritt Y. Hughes Professor of English, University of Wisconsin, since 1977; department chairman, University of Wisconsin, 1974-1977; member, Institute Research in Humanities, since 1977. Visiting professor University of Virginia, spring 1973.
Served with Army of the United States, 1946-1948. Member Modern Language Association, English Institute (member supervising committee 1972-1975), International Society 18th Century Studies (Executive Committee 1979-1981), American Society 18th Century Studies (president 1978-1979, Executive Board 1976-1981), Phi Beta Kappa (honorary).
Married Sydney Joan Jacobs, December 19, 1953. Children: David James, Margaret Rosalind, Rebecca Joan.