Professor Daniel Wakelin

"I take my craft seriously, as you can tell by my use of the word 'craft'." (Rogelio de la Vega)


wakelin designingeng
Wakelin Revolting Remedies

My post, the Jeremy Griffiths Professorship of Medieval English Palaeography, is supported by the tremendous generosity of John and Jeanne Griffiths, in memory of their son, the great scholar of manuscripts, Jeremy Griffiths. You can read about him here and listen to my inaugural lecture from 2013 here. (The first few minutes are 'occasional', comprised of personal thanks and jokes.)

     Mr and Mrs Griffiths also kindly fund a studentship each year for the MSt. in English 650-1550. I teach for that MSt. and for various undergraduate papers, and I am director of the Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Centre 'Publication beyond Print'. Some work by former MSt. students has recently been published as a book: it is a set of their transcriptions of Revolting Remedies from the Middle Ages.

     In my research, I study manuscripts and early printed copies of English literature, primarily from the 1100s to the 1500s, especially of humanist and learned literature; everyday pragmatic literacy; Chaucerian traditions; and carols and interludes. I see palaeography and codicology as forms of close reading similar to other forms of literary criticism. I am especially interested in the agency of creative people in the past: in scribes' working processes, from script to page design, and in reading habits. I discuss some scribal creativity in this recent lecture.

Production of Books in England 1350-1500
Scribal Correction and Literary Craft

     I recently explored scribes' skill in page design in an exhibition Designing English: Graphics on the Medieval Page and an accompanying catalogue (discussed in this video). I've also written a study of reading as a creative process in Humanism, Reading and English Literature 1430-1530, and of scribes as themselves close readers in Scribal Correction and Literary Craft: English Manuscripts 1375-1510. (That book, joint winner of the DeLong Prize for book history in 2015, is discussed in this podcast.)

Humanism, Reading, & English Literature 1430 - 1530
wakelin secretum

     I have also co-edited The Production of Books in England 1350-1500 and a Middle English translation from Petrarch. Outside Oxford, I am the executive secretary of the Early English Text Society and one of the editors of The Review of English Studies.



Teaching Areas: In the Faculty of English I teach for the MSt. course in English Language and Literature 650-1550, for the undergraduate Course II and for the paper on literature 1350-1550. I have supervised doctoral research on topics ranging from manuscripts of Gildas to early Tudor prison graffiti, with a concentration on writing and reading practices from the 1100s to the 1500s.

 On Twitter see @DanielWakelin1, and for the EETS see @EEngTextSoc