Dr Rachel A. Burns

I am currently co-editing a collection of essays on Old English metre and literary criticism with Rafael J. Pascual, titled Old English Poetics: Metre, Manuscripts and Style. I am also contributing a chapter to this volume ('Mind the Gap: Inter-word Spacing and Metrical Organisation in Old English verse'), positing a relationship between word-spacing and metrical organisation in a sample of Old English verse in its manuscript context.


Key Interests:

- Production and design of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts

- Old English poetry and metre

Mise-en-page of Old English and Anglo-Latin texts 

- History of editing medieval texts, and digitization of medieval texts and images 


I largely work with Old English texts, but also with Anglo-Latin material and on western medieval manuscript culture more broadly. In my PhD thesis ('The visual craft of Old English verse: mise-en-page in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts') I examined the mise-en-page of Old English and Latin verse texts, considering the interaction of page design with contemporary cultural aesthetics, metrical form, and the semantic interpretation of individual texts. In particular, mise-en-page is seen as a site where critics can witness scribal acts of creativity and interpretation.

Further interests arising from my research include: perceptions of Greek language and culture in Anglo-Saxon England; Anglo-Saxon riddles; the mise-en-page of modern English texts; digitization practice and the production, usage and preservation of digital resources.

Prelims 2 (Early medieval literature, c. 650-1350) and Prelims 1A (Introduction to English Language and Literature); FHS 2 (Literature in English 1350 - 1550); Course II Paper 1 (Literature in English 650-1100).



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