Professor of Medieval Studies, School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication

Professor Anthony Bale

Anthony Bale is Professor of Medieval Studies, Department of English, Theatre and Creative Writing, School of Arts. He has taught on the BA English and MA Medieval Literature and Culture and currently supervises doctoral students working on medieval topics.

Anthony has published widely on medieval literature, culture, and religion. In particular, his work has explored relations between Christians and Jews in medieval England and, more recently, the culture of medieval pilgrimage. He has also edited and translated several medieval texts, and new translations and editions of The Book of Marvels & Travels by John Mandeville, The Book of Margery Kempe, and Medieval English Travel, a sourcebook, all with Oxford University Press. His current work explores travel, books, and pilgrimage between England and the Holy Land in the later Middle Ages. His new study of Margery Kempe will be published by Reaktion Books in 2021.

Anthony has received fellowships and research funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the Australian Research Councils, the British Academy, Harvard University, the Huntington Library, the Leverhulme Trust, the University of Michigan Frankel Institute, the National Humanities Center, and the Pilgrim Trust. He is currently President of the New Chaucer Society.

Anthony Bale’s research interests are in late medieval English literature, culture, and popular religion. In particular, his research has explored Christian ideas about Jews and Judaism, the poetry of John Lydgate, the cult of St Edmund, Sir John Mandeville and his Book, pain and affect in medieval religion, the representation of Jerusalem, the history of imprisonment, travel and The Book of Margery Kempe. More recently, his research has focused on pilgrimage and travel, and the eastern Mediterranean in the later fifteenth century.

His research has been enriched by a number of creative projects. These include working with an animator on medieval manuscripts, and as an academic advisor for two exhibitions, Blood: Uniting & Dividing and Jews, Money, Myth, developed jointly by the Pears Institute and the Jewish Museum London.


Book Chapters

  • ‘From Nidaros to Jerusalem; from Feginsbrekka to Mount Joy’, in eds. Kristin Aavitsland and Line Bonde, Tracing the Jerusalem Code I (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2020), 187-93.
  • ‘Pilgrims’ texts’, in ed. Alexandra Gillespie and Deidre Lynch, The Unfinished Book (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020.
  • ‘Where did Margery Kempe cry?’, in Fluid Bodies and Bodily Fluids: Bodies, Blood, and Tears in Literature, Theology, and Art, ed. Anne Scott and Michael Barbezat (ARC, 2019), pp. 15-30.
  • ‘Chaucer’s Sense of an Ending’, with Patricia Ingham, Cambridge Companion to the Canterbury Tales, ed. Frank Grady, Cambridge University Press, 2020.
  • ‘Chaucer’s Borders’, for ed. Ian Johnson, Geoffrey Chaucer in Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.
  • The Virgin of Bethlehem, Gender, and Space’, in Gender in Medieval Spaces, Places, and Thresholds, ed. Victoria Blud, Diane Heath, Einat Klafter (London: IHR, 2018), xv-xviii
  • ‘Dracula’s Blood’, in The Cambridge Companion to Dracula, ed. Roger Luckhurst, Cambridge University Press, 2017.
  • ‘Belligerent Literacy, Bookplates, and Graffiti: Dorothy Helbarton’s Book’, in ed. Adam Smyth and Gill Partington, Book Destruction, Palgrave, 2014, pp. 131-60.
  • ‘Christians and Jews, Love and Hate’, in ed. Holly Crocker and Vance Smith, Middle English Literature: Criticism and Debate, Routledge, 2013, pp. 73-81.
  • ‘Afterword: the memory of atrocity’, in ed. Sethina Watson and Sarah Rees-Jones, The York Massacre of 1190 in Context, Boydell and Brewer, 2012, pp. 294-304.
  • ‘Lydgate’s Chaucer’, in ed. Suzanne Conklin Akbari and James Simpson, The Oxford Handbook to Chaucer, Oxford University Press, 2019.
  • ‘”A maner Latyn corrupt”: Chaucer and the Absent Religions’, for ed. Helen Phillips, Chaucer and Religion, D. S. Brewer, 2010, pp. 52-65.
  • ‘St Edmund in Fifteenth-Century London: The Lydgatian Miracles of St Edmund‘, in ed. Anthony Bale, St Edmund King and Martyr, York Medieval Press, 2009.
  • ‘Christian Antisemitism and Intermedial Experience in Late Medieval England’ for eds. Matthew Dimmock and Andrew Hadfield, Religions of the Book: Co-existence and Conflict 1400-1600, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
  • ‘Boys, Lady Sibylle, c. 1370- c. 1456, literary patron’, for The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2008.
  • ‘The female “Jewish” libido in medieval culture’, in eds. Amanda Hopkins and Cory Rushton, The Erotic in the Literature of Medieval Britain, D. S. Brewer, 2007, pp. 94-104.
  • ‘Stow’s Medievalism and antique Judaism in early modern London’, in eds. Ian A. Gadd and Alexandra Gillespie, John Stow (1525-1605) and the Making of the English Past, British Library, 2004, pp. 69-80.
  • ‘Fictions of Judaism in England before 1290’, in ed. Patricia Skinner, The Jews in Medieval Britain, Boydell & Brewer, 2003, pp.129-144.

Journal Articles

Anthony Bale is currently supervising or co-supervising several doctoral projects, including two AHRC-funded students. He is happy to consider enquiries from potential doctoral students on topics relating to:

  • Aspects of medieval English literature and culture 1200-1550
  • Chaucer, Mandeville, Lydgate
  • Pilgrimage, the medieval Holy Land, Jerusalem
  • Editing and translating medieval texts, book history, marginalia
  • Medieval Anglo-Jewish history, the history of antisemitism
  • Medieval hagiography

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