Dr Kylie Murray, Christ's



Biographical Information

I am a Fellow and Lecturer in Medieval English, and a Director of Studies at Christ’s College. Previously, I held a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship  at Balliol College, Oxford. I gained my degrees at St Andrews (MA, first class) and Oxford (MSt, with Distinction, and DPhil: both of my graduate degrees were fully funded by the AHRC and SIET).


I teach for the following papers: Part I papers 1, 2, 3 (Practical Criticism and Critical Practice; English 1066-1350; English 1300-1550), and Part II paper 5 (Chaucer). I supervise a range of undergraduate and graduate dissertations. My teaching to date spans c.650 (the earliest Old English poems, including Dream of the Rood and Beowulf), to the present day.

Research Interests

My research specialism is the literature of Medieval and Early-Modern Scotland, c.1100-c.1625. My first book, The Making of the Scottish Dream-Vision, is forthcoming from the British Academy and Oxford University Press. I am now completing my second book, The Scottish Boethius, c.1100-c.1600, about the European-inspired literary reception of the philosopher, Boethius, in Medieval and Early-Modern Scotland, while also beginning a biography reappraising the Scottish King, William the Lion (1165-1214).

My principal research interests concern political literature in Scots and in Latin; national identities in Scotland, Britain, and Europe; dream-vision and visionary literature; mystical writing; astrology and astronomy in Medieval literature; the reception of Classical literature in Medieval Britain and Europe. Book history underpins all of my interests, and the study of manuscript and early printed books forms a vital part of both my research and teaching. I am currently part of a collaborative British Academy project which catalogues Medieval manuscripts in the British Isles containing Aristotle commentaries.  Through my teaching, I encourage students to engage with and make the most of Cambridge's manuscript and early print treasures.

In 2015, I identified Scotland's earliest extant non-biblical book, a manuscript copy of Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, previously thought to be northern English, but which I believe was produced in the Scottish kingdom proper during the reign of David I (1124-53). This research received national and international media interest, with UK coverage from the Times, the BBC, the Guardian, the Scotsman,  the Herald, and others. I have identified over twenty copies of Boethius's works with Scottish connections from c.1100-c.1600: nearly all had been overlooked by scholars to date. These show that Scotland did not read Boethius primarily through Chaucer, as previously thought, but through Latin and Continental contexts, and over 300 years before Chaucer was writing.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

I am currently supervising graduate work on the visitation motif in the literature of Medieval England and Scotland. I warmly welcome queries about graduate supervision on any of the research areas I outline above, including dream vision, Scots, Latin, book history, and political literature.

Media Work and Public Engagement

I love sharing the excitement, the energy, and the relevance, of Medieval and Early-Modern Britain with eclectic audiences within and beyond academia, which led me to become an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker in 2015. I continue to broadcast about various aspects of Medieval culture, literature, and books on BBC Radio 3. Some broadcasts to date include: 

  • BBC Free Thinking, on Medieval Manuscripts at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (September 2016)

In 2016, I gave the British Academy Chatterton Lecture on Poetry, titled ‘Elizabeth Melville and the Poetics of Desire in Early-Modern Britain,’ at the British Academy in London, and later, at the University of St Andrews. Mine was the first lecture in this entire series - which has been running for over 60 years - to cover a pre-Union Scottish poet, and the first lecture to cover a Scottish woman poet of any period.

In November 2016, I also spoke about Medieval and Renaissance Scotland's European identity at a British Academy Conference, European Union and Dis-Union: What has held Europeans together, and what is dividing them?:


Selected Publications


1. The Making of the Scottish Dream Vision (Oxford: Oxford University Press / British Academy Monographs Series - forthcoming, 2018).

2. The Scottish Boethius (in preparation: 100,000 word monograph).

3. William I and High Medieval Scotland's Cultural Flowering (in preparation: 75,000 word monograph).

Edited Books

4. ed. with P.R. Robinson, R. Gameson, A. Rumble, Catalogue of Medieval Manuscripts Containing Commentaries on Aristotle in British Libraries, Volume III (forthcoming - Turnhout: Brepols, 2018/19).

Articles, Essays, and Chapters

5. ‘Reading and Writing Boethius in Sixteenth-Century Scotland’, Carmina Philosophiae (Journal of the International Boethius Society: in preparation for Spring 2018) [6,000 words].

6. ‘Aristotle Commentary Manuscripts (pre-1600) in Scottish Libraries, Introduction and Catalogue’, in Robinson et. al (eds), Catalogue of Medieval Manuscripts Containing Commentaries on Aristotle in British Libraries, Volume III (forthcoming - Turnhout: Brepols, 2018/19) [15,000 words].

7. ‘Scotland’s Literature and Book-History, c.1296-c.1560’, in C. Etty and A. King (eds), A Companion to Late-Medieval Scotland (forthcoming - Boston, MA, and Leiden: Brill, 2018/19) [8,000 words].

8. 'Elizabeth Melville, Lady Culross (c.1578-c.1640) and the Poetics of Desire in Early Modern Britain', Journal of the British Academy (under contract for 2017). 

9. ‘Appetite, Desire, and Excess in Bower’s Scotichronicon and Older Scots Poetry’, in J. Martin and E. Wingfield (eds), Premodern Scotland: Literature and Governance 1420-1587. Essays for Sally Mapstone (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 31-44.

10. 'Medieval and Renaissance Scotland's European identity: a Post-Brexit Reflection', in P. Lewis and A. Amin (eds), European Union and Dis-Union: What has held Europeans together, and what is dividing them? London: British Academy (2017), 74-9.

11. 'Visions of Royal Power in the Courts of James I and II, c.1424-60', in M. Penman and L. Dean (eds), Medieval and Early Modern Representations of Authority in Scotland and Northern Europe. (London: Routledge, 2016), 214-34.

12. 'A New Scottish Boethius Manuscript: Rethinking Medieval Scotland's Intellectual and Literary History', The British Academy Review, 26 (Summer 2015).

13. 'Books Beyond the Borders: Fresh Findings on Boethius' Transmission in Earlier Medieval Scotland' Medievalia et Humanistica, 41 (2015), 7-43.

14. 'Lady Dervorguilla and Medieval Scotland's Manuscript Treasures', Floreat Domus: Balliol College (2015), 26-8.

15. 'Passing the Book: the Scottish Shaping of Chaucer’s Dream States in Bodleian Library, MS Arch. Selden. B. 24', in K. Terrell and M. Bruce (eds), The Anglo-Scottish Border and the Shaping of Identity, 1300-1600 (New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 121-39.

16. 'John Vaus, Aberdeen, and Early-Modern Scottish Book Culture', in I. Beavan, J. Stevenson and P. Davidson (eds), The Collections of the University of Aberdeen. Volume 1: Library and Archival Collections (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011), 120-3.

17. 'Dream-Vision and Late Medieval Scotland: the Epic Case of William Wallace', Harvard Celtic Colloquium Proceedings, 29 (2011), 177-98.

18. 'Rhyme(r) and Reason: Thomas the Rhymer, Prophecy, and Anglo-Scottish Identity', in J. D. McClure et. al. (eds), “What Country’s this? And Whither are we Gone?” Papers from the Twelfth International Conference on the Literature of Region and Nation (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars’ Publishing, 2011), 321-39.

19. ‘The Visio Karoli Crassi, Vincent of Beauvais’ Speculum Historiale, and Bower’s Scotichronicon’, Vincent of Beauvais International Newsletter, 33 (2008), 3-9

20. ‘Kingship in Malory’s Morte Darthur and the Older Scots Lancelot of the Laik’, San Francisco Medieval Forum, 6 (2007) [online publication, not paginated].

I also regularly review for a number of journals, including Speculum and the International Review of Scottish Studies.