Stylisticienne (Fr, ‘one who specialises in stylistics’). I am a Fellow by Special Election and Lecturer in English at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford. I teach Old English and Middle English Literature, as well as Prelims Paper 1 Section A ‘Approaches to Language’. Oxford undergraduates reading English have to write critical commentaries on Old English or early Middle English in their first year exams and on Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde in their Finals, so a good proportion of my time is spent explaining aspects of Old and Middle English poetics and literary style.
As well as teaching, I am also writing a book on poetic innovation and poetic experiment across the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. This is a bit of a swerve, as my first book explored political poetry and political language in a very narrow historical period. I have also written another book more directly inspired by my teaching, a reader’s guide to Chaucer’s Troilus.
This blog will be a record of a work in progress and a lot of thoughts in progress. Some posts will be trials for parts of the book which I am writing. Some posts will be a home for things that interest me a great deal but which won’t make it into the book. Some will be digressions. Some may discuss the teaching of poetics in school and at university. All of it will, I hope, be of interest to those few, those happy and lucky few, who spend a little time or a lot of time reading Middle English poetry and thinking about its style.