Stephen Knight graduated from Jesus College, Oxford in 1962 and then worked in English at the University of Sydney as Teaching Fellow, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor until 1986, with two years at the Australian National University (1968-9). In 1987 he moved to the Robert Wallace Chair of English Literature at the University of Melbourne, and then in 1992 to the foundation chair of English at De Montfort University, Leicester. He became Head of English at the University of Wales, Cardiff, in 1994 and was Head of School there 1996-9. In 2006 he was appointed Distinguished Research Professor at Cardiff and retired in 2011, to return to Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the English Association and of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Awards include in 1983 the title Cyfaill y Celtiaid (`Friend of the Celts’) for setting up the Celtic Studies programme at the University of Sydney), the International Mythopoeic Association Prize 2005 (for Robin Hood: a Mythic Biography), and in 2012 the James Leader Randall prize for the best Arthurian essay of the year in the U.S.A. (for `The Arctic Arthur’).
He has written many essays in journals and collections; his best-known books are Form and Ideology in Crime Fiction (1980); Arthurian Literature and Society (1983); Geoffrey Chaucer (1987); Robin Hood: a Complete Study (1994); Continent of Mystery: a Thematic History of Australian Crime Fiction (1997); Robin Hood: a Mythic Biography (2003); A Hundred Years of Fiction: Welsh Fiction in English (2004); Merlin: Knowledge and Power (2009); The Mysteries of the Cities (2012). He has also edited and co-edited seven collections of essays and seven collections of Australian crime fiction short stories, has written widely for the media, and produced two books of essays on Australian life The Selling of the Australian Mind (1990) and Freedom was Compulsory (1994). He is currently writing a book on The Politics of Myth and is beginning a research