School of English


I joined the University of Kent in September 2011 after working as a post doctoral researcher in the School of English, Queen’s University of Belfast. I was employed on two large AHRC-funded projects; most recently, ‘Geographies of Orthodoxy’ and previously, as a research associate on the ‘Imagining History’ project.  These projects gave me the opportunity to look at two of the largest and most significant corpora of Middle English books in existence.

My research focuses on the situation of texts within their material contexts; that is, within the hand-made books produced, patronised and read by medieval consumers. I have an interest in the ways in which the people who read (and heard) Middle English texts may have responded to them, what meanings literature held for contemporary audiences, and what the books that carried these texts tell us about literary reception.

Medieval religious literature is one specific focus for my research, particularly in respect of how those who owned books containing such material recruited these texts as part of their devotions.  It is in so-called ‘devotional manuals’, miscellaneous collections of varied religious texts, that my current and future research lies.  I contend that such books might have been the most ‘popular’ kind of book in the English language in the late Middle Ages, dwarfing the numbers of copies of texts such as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

Contact Information


Office: W3.N3

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Edited book
Perry, R.M.M. and Kelly, S.P. eds. (2014). Devotional Culture in Late Medieval England and Europe Diverse Imaginations of Christ's Life. [Online]. Belgium: Brepols. Available at:
Book section
Perry, R. (2019). Chaucer's God. In: Johnson, I. R. ed. Geoffrey Chaucer in Context. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 157-166. Available at:
Perry, R. (2019). Sin. In: Brown, P. ed. A New Companion to Chaucer. Oxford, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd., pp. 421-433. Available at:
Perry, R. and Tuck, L. (2016). '[W]he[th]yr [th]u redist er herist redyng, I wil be plesyd wyth [th]e': Margery Kempe and the Locations for Middle English Devotional Reading and Hearing. In: Flannery, M. C. and Griffin, C. eds. Spaces for Reading in Later Medieval England. UK: Palgrave Macmillan / Springer, pp. 133-148. Available at:
Perry, R. (2014). 'Introduction'. In: Devotional Culture in Late Medieval England and Europe Diverse Imaginations of Christ's Life. Belgium: Brepols, pp. 1-15. Available at:
James, S. (2014). Hospitable Reading: in a Fifteenth-Century Passion and Eucharistic Meditation. In: Kelly, S. W. and Perry, R. M. M. eds. "Diuerse Imaginaciouns of Cristes Lif": Devotional Culture in England and Beyond, 1300-1560. Brepols, pp. 593-605. Available at:
Perry, R. (2013). 'Some sprytuall matter of gostly edyfycacion': Readers and Readings of Nicholas Love's Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ. In: The Pseudo-Bonaventuran Lives of Christ: Exploring the Middle English Tradition. Belgium: Brepols, pp. 79-126. Available at:
Perry, R. (2013). Editorial Politics in the Vernon Manuscript. In: Scase, W. ed. The Making of the Vernon Manuscript: the Production and Contexts of Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Eng.Poet.A.1. Brepols.
Kelly, S. and Perry, R. (2013). 'Citizens of Saints': Creating Christian Community in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 23. In: Rice, N. R. ed. Middle English Religious Writing in Practice: Texts, Readers, and Transformations. Brepols.
Kelly, S. and Perry, R. (2012). Devotional Cosmopolitanism in Fifteenth Century England. In: Gillespie, V. and Ghosh, K. eds. After Arundel: Religious Writing in Fifteenth-Century England. Brepols.
Perry, R. (2010). Objectification, Identity and the Late Medieval Codex. In: Hamling, T. and Richardson, C. eds. Everyday Objects: Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture and Its Meanings. UK: Ashgate, pp. 309-319. Available at:
Perry, R. (2007). The Clopton Manuscript and the Beauchamp Affinity: Patronage and Reception Issues in a West Midlands Reading Community. In: Essays in Manuscript Geography: Vernacular Manuscripts of the English West Midlands from the Conquest to the Sixteenth Century. Belgium: Brepols, pp. 131-159. Available at:
Perry, R. (2018). Gathering Good Corn from the Weeds: Theological and Pastoral Engagements with the Prickynge of Love in Post-Reformation England. The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies [Online] 48. Available at:
Perry, R. (2014). Making Histories: Locating the Belfast Fragment of the Middle English Prose Brut. Digital Philology: A Journal of Medieval Cultures [Online] 3:240-256. Available at:
Perry, R. (2013). An Introduction to Devotional Anthologies. One Volume 'Collections' and their Contexts. Queeste. Journal of medieval literature in the Low Countries [Online] 20:119-133. Available at:
Perry, R. (2011). 'Thynk on God, as we doon, men that swynk': The Cultural Locations of Meditations on the Supper of Our Lord and the Middle English Pseudo-Bonaventuran Tradition. Speculum [Online] 86:419-454. Available at:
Perry, R. (2009). A Fragment of the Middle English Prose Brut in the Special Collections Dept., Queen's University of Belfast. Notes and Queries [Online] 56:189-190. Available at:
Perry, R. (2016). Robert Mannyng and the Imagined Reading Communities for Handlyng Synne. In: Clarke, P. D. and James, S. eds. Pastoral Care. Boydell and Brewer. Available at:
Total publications in KAR: 18 [See all in KAR]
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Research supervision

I would like to supervise students exploring Middle English textual cultures in any genre, or students with interests in book history and reception studies.

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School of English, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NX

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 823054

Last Updated: 15/09/2018