Professor Julia Boffey, MA (Cambridge) DPhil (York)
Professor of Medieval Studies
I work in the medieval and early modern areas, especially on traditions of English verse writing, and with a particular focus on Chaucer and fifteenth-century literature. I came to Queen Mary after studying at Newnham College, Cambridge and then the Centre for Medieval Studies at York, where my D.Phil. thesis was on late Middle English verse manuscripts. A book about The Manuscripts of English Courtly Love Lyrics in the Later Middle Ages (Boydell and Brewer, 1983) grew from that work; and an edition of Fifteenth-Century English Dream Visions: An Anthology (OUP, 2003) developed from it. My long-term interest in the material aspects of literary production has recently involved research into the early intersections between manuscript and print, and on the compilation and transmission of local chronicles.
I have taught on:
- ESH110: Literatures in Time
- ESH282: Chaucer: Telling Medieval Tales
- ESH6050: Medieval Dreams and Fantasies
- late medieval and early sixteenth-century literature (especially Chaucer and fifteenth-century verse)
- medieval lyrics
- manuscript production and early printing
- literary production and reception in late medieval London
Recent and On-Going Research
In recent years I have worked more extensively on Middle English verse manuscripts, on the relationship between manuscript and printed production of texts c. 1475-1530, and on late medieval London texts and readers. As the fruit of periods of externally funded leave I have published A New Index of Middle English Verse (with A. S. G. Edwards; British Library, 2005), a book on Manuscript and Print in London, c. 1475-1530 (British Library, 2012), and a co-edited Companion to Fifteenth-Century English Poetry (Boydell and Brewer, 2013). I am currently investigating the activities of the chronicler Rober Fabyan, and editing his account of life in London during the reign of Henry VII. I remain interested in lyrics and with Christiania Whitehead have recently co-edited a collection of essays, The Middle English Lyric: New Approaches to Short Poems (forthcoming from Boydell and Brewer, 2018).
with A. S. G. Edwards, eds, Companion to Fifteenth-Century English Poetry (Cambridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2013)
Manuscript and Print in London, c. 1475-1530 (London: British Library, 2012)
with Virginia Davis, eds, Recording Medieval Lives: Proceedings of the 2005 Harlaxton Symposium, Harlaxton Medieval Studies, 17 (Donington: Shaun Tyas, 2009)
with A. S. G. Edwards, A New Index of Middle English Verse (London: British Library, 2005)
ed., Fifteenth-Century English Dream Visions: An Anthology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)
(with M. T. W. Payne) ‘The Gardyner’s Passetaunce, the Flowers of England, and Thomas Gardyner, Monk of Westminster’, The Library, 7th series, 18 (2017), 177-90
‘Shirley, Trinity College Cambridge MS R. 3. 20, and the Circumstances of Lydgate’s Temple of Glass: Coterie Verse over Time’, Studies in the Age of Chaucer, 38 (2016), 265-73
(with Paula Simpson) ‘A Middle English Love Poem on a Binding Fragment’, Review of English Studies, 67 (2016), 844-54
‘Manuscript and Print: Continuity and Change’, in A Companion to the Early English Printed Book in Britain, ed. Vincent Gillespie and Susan Powell (D. S. Brewer: Cambridge, 2014), pp. 13-26
‘Banking on Translation: English Printers and Continental Texts’, in The Medieval Translator: Traduire au Moyen Age. In principio fuit interpres, ed. Alessandra Petrina (Brepols: Turnhout, 2013), pp. 317-29
‘Scattered Verse in British Library, Additional MS 18752’, English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700, 16 (2011), 30-47
‘London Books and London Readers, c. 1475-1550’, in Cultural Reformations: Medieval and Renaissance in Literary History, ed. Brian Cummings and James Simpson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 420-37
‘Manuscript and Print: Authors, Books and Readers’, in A Companion to Medieval Poetry, ed. Corinne Saunders (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2010), pp. 538-54
‘London, British Library Add. MS 18752: A Tudor Hybrid Book’, English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700, 15 (2009), 41-64
‘The Early Reception of Alain Chartier's Works in England and Scotland’, in Chartier in Europe, ed. E. Cayley and A. Kinch (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2008), pp. 105-16
‘"Cy ensuent trois chaunceons": Groups and Sequences of Middle English Lyrics’, in Medieval Texts in Context, ed. G. Caie and D. Renevey (Routledge, 2008), pp. 85-95
‘The Kingis Quair and the Poems of Bodleian Library, MS Arch. Selden. B. 24’, in A Companion to Early Scottish Poetry, ed. Priscilla Bawcutt and Janet Hadley-Williams (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2006), pp. 63-74
‘From Manuscript to Modern Text’, in A Companion to Medieval English Literature and Culture, c. 1350-1500, ed. Peter Brown (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006), pp. 107-22
‘Chaucer’s ‘Fortune’ in the 1530s: Some Sixteenth-CenturyRrecycling’, in Studies in Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Texts in Honour of John Scattergood: ‘The Key of All Good Remembrance’, ed. A. Fletcher & A.-M. D’Arcy (Four Courts Press: Dublin, 2005), pp. 53-64
‘Middle English Lyrics and Manuscripts’, in A Companion to the Middle English Lyric, ed. Thomas Duncan (Boydell and Brewer, Woodbridge: 2005), pp. 1-18
‘“Forto Compleyne she had gret desire”: The Grievances Expressed in Two Fifteenth-Century Dream-Visions, in Nation, Court and Culture: New Essays on 15th-century English Poetry, ed. Helen Cooney (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2001), pp. 116-28
‘“Twenty thousand more”: Some Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Responses to The Legend of Good Women’, in Middle English Poetry: Texts and Traditions, ed. A. J. Minnis (Woodbridge: Boydell Press for York Medieval Press, 2001), pp. 279-97
‘Proverbial Chaucer and the Chaucer Canon’, Huntington Library Quarterly, 58 (1996), 37-47
‘The Treatise of a Galaunt in Manuscript and Print’, The Library, 6-15 (1993), 175-86
I have supervised PhD theses on later medieval verse and prose, especially Chaucer and post-Chaucerian writing; on medieval manuscript anthologies; on textual production in London; on medieval lives and their documentation and representation.
I welcome applications from prospective postgraduate students interested in late medieval texts and literary culture.
I have recently supervised the following successful PhD projects:
- Rob Ellis, '"Verba Vana": Empty Words in Ricardian London'
- Jane Williams, 'A Late-Medieval Family and its Archive: The Forsters of London, c.1440-c.1550'
- Hetta Howes, ‘In Search of Clearer Water: An Exploration of Water Imagery in Late Medieval Devotional Prose Addressed to Women’
- Joel Grossman, ‘Authorising Courtly Verse: Poetics in the Reign of Henry VIII’