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School of Arts, Histories and Cultures

The Toller Lecture

The Toller Lecture is held every March and is open to all, free of charge. The Lecture is published in the Spring volume of the Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester the following year. Transcripts of some of the Memorial Lectures are available at a cost of £3 including post and packing. The topics chosen for the lectures reflect the interdisciplinary research ethos of the centre:


The 2014 Toller Lecture will take place on Monday 3 March in the Historic Reading Room, John Rylands Libray Deansgate at 6pm, followed bya FREE wine reception. The speaker will be Professor John Hines, Cardiff Unversity,on ‘A new chronology and new agenda: the problematic sixth century’ exploring the issues raised by the recent high-precision radio-carbon dating project


The 2013 Toller Lecture was given by Leslie Webster, formerly of the British Museum. on Monday 4 March 2013 in the Historic Library, John Rylands University Library of Manchester, Deansgate Building, and was followed by a wine reception and dinner.


The 2012 Toller Lecture was held on 5 March 2012 in The Historic Library, John Rylands University Library, Deansgate Building.Eamonn O'Carragain, of the University of Cork, spoke on ‘Vercelli as a context for The Dream of the Rood’.

The lecture was followed by a FREE wine reception in the Foyer of the Deansgate Library and dinner (regrettably not free!)at Pestos on Deansgate.


Mon 7 March 2011 at  6.00 p.m. Professor Barbara Yorke, University of Winchester spoke on ‘King Alfred and the traditions of Anglo-Saxon kingship’.

Previous lectures


Professor Rolf Bremmer, University of Leiden
'Looking Back at Anger: Wrath in Anglo-Saxon England'


Professor Michelle Brown
'The Anglo-Saxon contribution to the History of the Book'


Dr Gillian Fellows-Jensen (University of Copenhagen)
'The Danes and the Danish Language in England: an anthroponymical point of view'


Professor Allen J. Frantzen, , Loyola University, Chicago
"Performance and Old English Poetry: Theatre and the Literature of the Anglo-Saxons"


Professor Roy Liuzza (University of Tennessee)
'Time in Anglo-Saxon England'


Professor Elaine Treharne (University of Leicester)
'The Politics of English, 1000 - 1200'


Paul E. Szarmach (Western Michigan University)
'Anglo-Saxon Texts in Search of the Beginning'


Patrick Wormald (University of Oxford)
'The Advent of the English: Migration as Historical Event'


Professor Peter Baker (University of Virginia)
'Toller at School Joseph Bosworth, T. Northcote Toller and the Progress of Old English Lexicography in the Nineteenth Century'


Professor Simon Keynes (University of Cambridge)
The Charters of King Athelstan and the Kingship of the English 


Professor Mechthild Gretch (University of Göttingen)
Winchester Vocabulary and Standard Old English: The Role of the Vernacular in Late Anglo-Saxon England 


Professor Nicholas Howe (Ohio State University)
An Angle on this Earth: Sense of Place in Anglo-Saxon England Available


Professor Richard Pfaff (University of North Carolina)
The Anglo-Saxon Bishop and his Book


Dr David Hinton (University of Southampton)
Smiths and Myths Available


Professor Joyce Hill (University of Leeds)
Translating the Tradition: Manuscripts, Models and Methodology in the Composition of Ælfric's Catholic Homilies Available


Professor Richard Bailey (University of Newcastle)
'What mean these stones?' Some Aspects of Pre-Norman Sculpture in Cheshire and Lancashire Out of print


Professor George Hardin Brown (Stanford University)
The Dynamics of Literacy in Anglo-Saxon England Out of print


Professor Katherine O'Brien O'Keefe (University of Notre Dame)
Source, Method, Theory, Practice: on Reading two Old English Verse Texts Available


Professor Roberta Frank (University of Toronto)
The Search for the Anglo-Saxon Oral Poet 


Professor Michael Lapidge (formerly University of Cambridge, now University of Notre Dame)
Textual Criticism and the Literature of Anglo-Saxon England. Available 


Professor Helmut Gneuss (University of Munich)
The Study of Language in Anglo-Saxon England Out of print


Professor Audrey L. Meaney (MacQuarie University)
Scyld Scefing and the Dating of Beowulf - Again Available.


Professor Janet Bately (King's College, London)
Manuscript Layout and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Available