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Medieval Studies


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Royal Holloway maintains a particularly strong team of scholars working on the Middle Ages, across the departments of English, History, French, Italian, Drama, and Music.  In the English Department, we specialise in Old English poetry, Piers Plowman, and Arthurian Literature.  We contribute to the interdisciplinary MA in Medieval Studies and welcome applications for PhD research in our areas of expertise.


  • Dr Alastair Bennett (Lecturer in Medieval Literature): 
     Piers Plowman, medieval homilies, religious literature
  • Dr Catherine Nall (Senior Lecturer in Medieval Literature):
    Arthurian literature, manuscripts, early print, military culture
  • Dr Jennifer Neville (Reader in Anglo-Saxon Literature)
    Old English poetry, especially the Exeter Book riddles  

Notable Publications

Click for Medieval Studies research outputs

  • Alastair Bennett, ‘Brevis oratio penetrat celum: Proverbs, Prayers and the Condition of Lay Knowledge in Late Medieval England’, New Medieval Literatures, 14 (2012), 127-163.
  • Alastair Bennett, ‘A Fifteenth Century Middle English Sermon on the Decline of the World and the Age of Stone’, Medium Ævum, 85:2 (2011), 271-300.
  • C. Nall, Reading and War in Fifteenth-Century England: From Lydgate to Malory (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2012).
  • 'Margaret Beaufort's Books: A New Discovery', Journal of the Early Book Society, 16 (2013).
  • C. Nall, ‘Perceptions of Financial Mismanagement and the English Reaction to Defeat in the Hundred Years War’ in Linda Clark (ed.), The Fifteenth Century VII (Boydell and Brewer, 2007), pp. 119-135.
  • C. Nall, ‘William Worcester Reads Alain Chartier: Le Quadrilogue Invectif and its English Readers’ in E.J. Cayley and Ashby Kinch (eds.), Chartier in Europe (Gallica Series, D.S. Brewer, 2008), pp. 135-148.
  • C. Nall, ‘Ricardus Franciscus writes for William Worcester’, Journal of the Early Book Society 11 (2008): 207-216.
  • C. Nall, ‘Malory’s Morte Darthur and the Rhetoric of War’, Medium Aevum (2010): 207-224.
  • J. Neville, Representations of the Natural World in Old English Poetry, Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England 27 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).
  • J. Neville, ‘Fostering the Cuckoo: Exeter Book Riddle 9’, Review of English Studies, 58 (2007), 431-46.
  • J. Neville, ‘Hrothgar’s Horses: Feral or Thoroughbred?’, Anglo-Saxon England, 35 (2006), 131-57.
  • J. Neville, 'Making their Own Sweet Time: The Scribes of Anglo-Saxon Chronicle A', in The Medieval Chronicle: Proceedings of the 2nd International Congress on the Medieval Chronicle, ed. by Erik Kooper (Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi, 2002), pp. 166-77.
  • J. Neville, 'The Unexpected Treasures of the Implement Trope: Hierarchical Relationships in the Old English Riddles', Review of English Studies, 62 (256) (2011), 505-19 [doi: 10.1093/res/hgq131].

Current Postgraduate Research Students 

Click here to see details of our current postgraduate research students in Medieval Studies

Recent Postgraduate Research Students 

  • Amanda Moss, 'Westminster School Ms 23: A study' (R. Field, C. Barron)
  • Pirkko Koppinen, '"Swa þa Stafas Becnaþ: Ciphers of the Heroic Idiom in the Exeter Book Riddles, Beowulf, Judith, and Andreas’ (J. Neville)
  • Hannah Batson, 'The Natural World in Medieval Literature' (R. Field)
  • Una O'Farrell Tate, 'The Return of Arthur in 20th Century Literature' (R. Field)
  • Melanie Heyworth, 'Moral Regulation and Gendered Morality in Anglo-Saxon England' (on exchange from Sydney, Australia)  (J. Neville)
  • Jane Page, 'Protean Patterns of Wisdom in Old and Early Middle English Literature' (J. Neville)
  • Alison Truelove, 'An Edition of the Stonor Letters and Papers' (R. Kennedy)

Click here for details of past MA dissertations from the MA in Medieval Studies

Other Research Activities

Catherine Nall organises LOMERS, the London Old and Middle English Research Seminar.

Jennifer Neville runs OERG, the Old English Reading Group.

Catherine Nall and Alastair Bennett run the Middle English Reading Group.


Jennifer Neville, Representations of the Natural World in Old English Poetry



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