Dr Kylie Murray, Christ's



Biographical Information

I am Fellow and Lecturer in Medieval English and Scottish Literature 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 with Lorimer Prize for 'Scottish Literature from the 13th to 20th centuries') and Oxford (MSt, with Distinction, and DPhil: both of my graduate degrees were fully funded by the AHRC and SIET).

Teaching and Lecturing

I offer teaching for the following papers covering the literature and languages of Medieval and Renaissance Britain

Prelims and Part I (first- and second-year options):

  • Paper 1: Practical Criticism and Critical Practice
  • Paper 2: Earlier Medieval Literature (Latin, Anglo-Norman, and English), 1066-1350
  • Paper 3: Later Medieval English and Scots, 1300-1550
  • Paper 4: Renaissance Literature, 1500-1700.

Tripos, Part II Medieval Options (third-year specialist papers):

  • Paper 5: Chaucer
  • Paper 6: The Medieval Supernatural, 1066-1500 in various languages of Medieval Britain.

I also supervise a range of undergraduate and graduate dissertations in these areas.

My teaching range spans the earliest Old English poems, including Dream of the Rood and Beowulf, to the later twentieth century.

Research Interests

My research specialism is the literature of Medieval and Early-Modern Scotland, c.1100-c.1625 in Scots, French, and Latin. My principal research interests concern political literature in Scots and in Latin; national identities in Scotland, Britain, and Europe; multi-lingual Britain; dream-vision and visionary literature; prophecy; 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 first read Boethius primarily through Chaucer, as previously thought, but through Latin and Continental contexts, around 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 romance, dream-vision, prophecy, Scots, Latin, book history (manuscript and early print), 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)
  • BBC Arts and Ideas, on the literary and intellectual history of Tayside and central Scotland on the eve of the Dundee V&A opening (September 2018).
  • BBC Free Thinking, on walls as a site for imagination and creativity in the Middle Ages (January 2019).

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

(i) Monographs

1. The Making of the Scottish Dream-Vision (under contract with OUP and the British Academy Monographs Series - forthcoming 2018/19)

2. The Scottish Boethius 1100-1600 (in preparation for the St Andrews Studies in Scottish History Series [Boydell]).    

(ii) Essays, Chapters, Articles, and Shorter Pieces

3. 'Thomas Hoccleve, The Dream-Vision, and Fifteenth-Century Scotland: New Insights', Notes and Queries (March, 2019).    

4. ‘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.

5. ‘The European History of Medieval and Renaissance Scotland: 
a Post-Brexit Reflection’, 
in P. Lewis and A. Amin (eds), European Union
and Disunion: What has held Europeans Together and What is Dividing Them (London: British Academy, 2017), 74-9.

6. ‘Visions of Royal Authority in the Courts of James I (1424-37) and James II (1437-60) of Scotland’, in K. Buchanan and L. Dean (eds), Medieval and Early-Modern Representations of Authority in Scotland, England, and Ireland(Farnham: Ashgate, 2016), 214-34.

7. ‘Books Beyond Borders: Fresh Findings on Boethius’s Reception in Twelfth-Century Scotland’, Medievalia et Humanistica, 41 (2015), 7-43.

8. ‘A newly identified Scottish Boethius manuscript: Rethinking Scotland’s intellectual and literary culture in the Middle Ages’, British Academy Review, 26 (Summer 2015), 58-63.

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

10. ‘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(NewYork andLondon: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012), 121-39.

11. ‘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 I: Library and Archival Collections(Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011), 120-3.

12.‘Dream-Vision and Late Medieval Scotland: The Epic Case of William Wallace’, Harvard Celtic Colloquium Proceedings, 29 (2011), 177-98.

13. ‘Rhyme(r) and Reason: Thomas the Rhymer, Prophecy, and Anglo-Scottish Identity’, in J.D. McClure et. (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), 322-39.

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

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

(iii) Works Commissioned/In Progress

16. 'Library and Scriptorium in the Name of the Rose', in A. and R. Crawford (eds), Libraries and Literature (for May 2019).

17. ‘Humanist Readings and Readers in the Light of the Declaration of Arbroath’, in P. Müller (ed.), Arbroath 1320-2020: Myths, Concepts, Adaptations, and Realities (for September 2019).

18. ‘Scotland’s Literature and Book-History, c.1296-c.1560’, in C. Etty and A. King (eds), A Companion to Late-Medieval Scotland (for early 2019 - Boston, MA, and Leiden: Brill, 2019)

19. ‘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 (for late 2018 - Turnhout: Brepols, 2019) 

20. ‘The Kingis Quair’, The Chaucer Encyclopedia, ed. R. Newhauser (Blackwell - for March 2019).

21. 'Robert Henryson',  The Chaucer Encyclopedia, ed. R. Newhauser (Blackwell - for March 2019).

22. 'William Dunbar', The Chaucer Encyclopedia, ed. R. Newhauser (Blackwell - for March 2019).

23. ‘George Buchanan (d.1582), A newly identified manuscript found among Parisian Prints, and Sixteenth-Century St Andrews'.

24. ‘Elizabeth Melville and the Poetics of Desire in Early-Modern Britain’, Journal of the British Academy (forthcoming, Autumn 2018) 

25. ‘Reading and Writing Boethius in Sixteenth-Century Scotland’, Carmina Philosophiae  (Journal of the International Boethius Society: in preparation for Summer 2019) 

26. ‘Scotland’s Fifteenth-Century Boethius Commentary: Glasgow University’s First Teaching Text and its Cologne Connections,’ - t.b.c.

(v) Book Reviews

27. 'P. Philips (ed), The Brill Companion to Boethius', Speculum (October 2018)

28. 'J. Martin (ed.), The Maitland Quarto, STS', Speculum (July 2018)

29. 'M. Brown and K. Stevenson (eds), 'Medieval St Andrews: Church, Cult, City', The Medieval Review (2018)

30. 'R. Purdie, Medieval Scottish Romances, STS', Innes Review (November 2014) 

31. 'J. Smith, Older Scots: A Linguistic Reader, STS', International Review of Scottish Studies (Spring 2014)

32. 'E. Elliott, Remembering Boethius', The Medieval Review (May 2014)