Dr Francis Leneghan

I work on Old English poetry and prose, especially Beowulf and writings associated with King Alfred. My research is mainly focused on interactions between Christian-Latin culture and Germanic literary tradition, in particular the translation and reception of biblical and patristic material in early England.

I am a founder and co-organiser of The Oxford Psalms Network, an interdisciplinary research group hosted by The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH) and devoted to the study of all aspects of the Psalms. I have recently co-edited two volumes of essays on medieval English psalms: with Tamara Atkin, The Psalms and Medieval English Literature: From the Conversion to the Reformation (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2017); and with Helen Appleton, The Psalms in Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman England, special edition of English Studies, 98.1 (2017). 

I am also a committe member of Oxford Medieval Studies, a TORCH research programme devoted to the promotion of interdisciplinary medieval studies. 

Undergraduate teaching and supervision:

Prelims Paper 2 (Early Medieval Literature, c. 650-1350)

FHS Paper 2 (English Literature 1350-1550)

Course II FHS Paper 1 (Literature in English 600-1100)

FHS Paper 6: 'Hit and Myth: (Mis)representations of the Medieval in the Modern Age'

FHS Paper 7: dissertations in any area of early medieval English. 

Graduate teaching and supervision:

MSt in English 650-1550:

'Old English for Beginners/Improvers'

'The Age of Alfred' (C-course option)

I also supervise Masters and Doctoral dissertations on a wide range of topics connected with Anglo-Saxon England and its literature. Recent and ongoing DPhil dissertations that I have supervised include work on Anglo-Saxon medicine, Mercian vernacular literature, Anglo-Latin and Old English saints' lives and Alfredian prose. I welcome applications from students interested in any area of Old English.


Click these links to listen to my podcasts on 'Beowulf' (for Oxford University's Great Writers Inspire Project) and 'Why should we study Old English?' (for the 'Challenging the Canon' Project).


The Oxford Psalms Network

Oxford Medieval Studies

St Cross College website



  • Making the Psalter Sing: the Old English 'Metrical Psalms', Rhythm and 'Ruminatio'

  • The Psalms and Medieval English Literature

  • Introduction: a Case Study of Psalm 50.1-3 in Old and Middle English

  • The Psalms in Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman England

  • The Psalms in Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman England

  • More
List of site pages