About

I am a Mellon Foundation Fellow at the Pontifical Institute of Mediæval Studies (Toronto, Ontario). My current work centres on a single manuscript, Oxford, Trinity College MS 8, also known as the Beauchamp missal. This manuscript is best known to scholars for containing the earliest exemplar of the mass for the Holy Name of Jesus. Some of my research (including my LMS project at the Institute) focuses on this devotion, but the Beauchamp missal holds many wonders besides. My monograph project, Opening the Beauchamp Missal: A Window on Intellectual Life in the Age of Chaucer, uses the Trinity 8 manuscript as a means to approach late-medieval English culture—its literary, scientific, and religious interests. The book combines literary history, biography, palaeography, and religious studies to examine the complex issues of book production and patronage, manuscript networks, the spread of vernacular piety, court politics and aristocratic households, and late-medieval English literature. Sustained study of the Trinity 8 missal is necessarily bound up with the exciting life of its patron, Sir William Beauchamp (c. 1343–1411). The younger brother of the rebel Earl of Warwick, Beauchamp was an Oxford-trained cleric, a Baltic crusader, a Knight of the Garter, a chamberlain to Richard II, and the first person to have an English will proved at the Archbishop of Canterbury’s court. He was the son-in-law of the Appellant Earl of Arundel, the courtly colleague to half a dozen heretical Lollard knights, and a friend of Geoffrey Chaucer.

Chapter one of the book offers the first sustained study of Beauchamp’s life and social ties, while chapter two examines his complex relationship with the heterodox leanings of his courtly contemporaries. The third chapter reconsiders the beginning of the English cult of the Holy Name and its connexion to Beauchamp’s personal piety, and chapter four looks further at English devotion to the Holy Name by questioning the influence of Beauchamp’s piety on his friend Geoffrey Chaucer, particularly the poet’s Parson’s Tale. The final chapter returns to close study of the Trinity 8 manuscript, focusing on an astronomical chart that appears near the opening of the missal. This chapter likewise returns to discussions of the manuscript’s courtly connexions, for not only was Sir William’s friend Chaucer the author-translator of the Treatise on the Astrolabe (c. 1390), but his early-career commander, John of Gaunt, was the patron of Nicholas of Lynn’s Kalendarium (1386). Opening the Beauchamp Missal offers new and exciting insights about the lives of those who came into contact with the Beauchamp mass book and its fascinating owner.

My publications include work on Ricardian poetry (especially Chaucer and the Pearl-poet), Middle English etymologies, the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, and the intersection of formalism and linguistics. You can find PDFs of many of these papers on the Publications page.

I grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan, where I completed a B.A. in English literature. I moved to Wolfville, Nova Scotia, to pursue an M.A. at Acadia University. I earned my Ph.D. from McGill University in 2015. Before coming to the Pontifical Institute, I held a two-year SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Medieval Studies.

I’ve taught at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford campus (Medieval Poetry of the Fantastic), Brock University (Heroic and Chivalric Literature), McGill (Poetics), and Luther College (First-year English). I am  a Harrison McCain Foundation Visiting Professor at Acadia University during the 2018-2019 academic year.

You can view my CV here.

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