My current research spans literature from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries written both in Middle English and Middle Scots, centring on how poets and their audiences understood the formal and linguistic licences of poetry. I have a longstanding research interest in the late medieval poet Thomas Hoccleve, and have recently co-edited a volume of new essays on Hoccleve and his works.
I also write for wider audiences about the history of the English language. I have written on the early life of gibberish for Aeon and for History Today magazine. My first trade non-fiction book, Mother Tongue: The Surprising History of Women's Words, will be published by Virago Press in the UK in May 2023 and by Viking Press worldwide in August 2023.
I blog about my research at www.stylisticienne.com, where you can find a glossary of Middle English/Scots poetic terms. I tweet about my research and teaching on Twitter – you can follow me @Stylisticienne
I also translate medieval poetry into Modern English in my spare time, and have recently published e-book translations of James I of Scotland's Kingis Quair, Robert Henryson's Orpheus and Eurydice and the Middle English romance Sir Orfeo. I have also translated a number of Thomas Hoccleve's works.
In 2012 I published a reader’s guide to Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde (the set commentary text for Finals) with Cambridge University Press. I am particularly interested in helping students learn how to close-read Middle English poetry and have created a ‘Poetics Primer’ for undergraduates and school pupils on my website. In 2015 I was awarded a Teaching Excellence Award by the University of Oxford for my contribution to the teaching of Troilus and Criseyde commentary.
Early Medieval Literature (Old English and Early Middle English Literature)
English Literature from 1350 to 1550 (Late Medieval and Early Tudor Literature)
The English Language