Boyle grew up in Malvern and Worcester. He studied Modern Languages and especially German at the University of Cambridge ( Magdalene College ) and was there since 1993 and Reader in 2000 professor of German literature and intellectual history ( German Literature and Intellectual History ). Since 2006 he has Schröder Professor of German at Cambridge. He is since 1968 a Fellow of Magdalene College. 1996 to 2001 he was the Department of German Studies ago in Cambridge.
Currently (2010) he is working on the third and probably the last volume of his biography of Goethe. His internationally acclaimed biography of Goethe is considered the standard work. The first two volumes appeared in 1991 and 2000.
In 2000 he was awarded the Goethe Medal of the Goethe Institute. He was elected to the British Academy in 2001. In 2009 he was awarded the Friedrich Gundolf Prize of the German Academy for Language and Literature. He was a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin and he was also a visiting scientist in Göttingen.
He is married to the lawyer Rosemary Devlin since 1983 and has four children.
- Goethe. The poet in his time, Volume 1, 2, CH Beck, Munich, 1995, 1999, paperback edition Insel Verlag 2004 ( original English edition: Goethe, Volume 1 The poetry of desire ( 1749-1790 ), Oxford University Press, 1991, Volume 2 Revolution and Renunciation (1790-1803), Oxford University Press 2000)
- John Guthrie (Editor) Goethe and the English Speaking World, Boydell and Brewer 2002
- 2014 - How to Survive the Next World Crisis, Continuum Books, 2010
- A small German literary history, CH Beck, 2009 (English original: German Literature: A Very Short Introduction ', Oxford University Press, 2008)
- Sacred and Secular Scriptures: A Catholic Approach to Literature, University of Notre Dame Press, 2004 (Erasmus Lecture at Notre Dame University 2002/2003)
- Who Are We Now: Christian Humanism and the Global Market from Hegel to Heaney, Continuum 2000
- Faust Part One, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986 ( introduction and commentary on fist)
- Published by Martin Swales, Joseph Peter Stern Realism in European literature: essays in honor of JP Star, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986