UCL English


Dr Francesca Brooks

Email: f.brooks@ucl.ac.uk 
External phone: 020 7679 3659
Internal phone: 33659
Office: Foster Court 242

Francesca Brooks photograph

Education and Experience 

Francesca Brooks received her B.A. (2011) in English Literature from Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, and completed her MA (2014) in Medieval Literature and PhD (2018) at King’s College London.

Her doctoral thesis on the influence of Anglo-Saxon culture and history on the late modernist poet and artist David Jones was funded by the AHRC through the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP).

Research Interests

Francesca’s research sits at the intersection of Anglo-Saxon and modernist literary culture, exploring the ways in which the early medieval past and its cultural productions have been reimagined and recreated in post-medieval poetry. She is currently working on her first monograph based on her doctoral research: a study of the Anglo-Welsh poet and artist David Jones’s 1952 poem The Anathemata, which draws on original archival research from libraries across the UK and North America. Developing a new methodology for reading with David Jones, Poet of the Medieval Modern: Reading the Anglo-Saxon Library with David Jones seeks to trouble the distinction we make between poetry and scholarship and argues that Jones creates a revisionary encounter with the medieval that decentres the Anglo-centrism of British culture.

Her next research project will explore the continued imaginative and political power of early medieval manuscripts in twentieth-century developments in lettering and abstraction, offering a medievalist cultural history of modern poetic innovation with word and image. Francesca has also published on sensory perceptions of the Anglo-Saxon liturgy, the influence of liturgical innovation on vernacular Passion poetry (both medieval and modernist), and the crafting of sound in the riddles of the Old English Exeter Book.


Articles and Chapters in Books

Brooks, Francesca, ‘Liturgy, Performance, and Poetry of the Passion: David Jones and The Dream of the Rood’, ‘David Jones Special Issue’, Religion & Literature, 49 (2018), 83-92

Brooks, Francesca, ‘The Crafting of Sound in the Riddles of the Exeter Book’, in How Riddles Work in the Anglo-Saxon Tradition, eds., Megan Cavell and Jennifer Neville (Manchester: Manchester University Press, forthcoming)

Brooks, Francesca, ‘Sight, Sound and the Perception of the Anglo-Saxon Liturgy in Exeter Book Riddles 48 and 59’, in Sensory Perception in the Medieval West, eds., Michael Bintley and Simon Thomson (Utrecht: Brepols, 2016), pp. 141-58

Allfrey, Fran, Francesca Brooks, Joshua Davies, Rebecca Hardie, Carl Kears, Clare Lees, Kathryn Maude, James Paz, Hana Videen and Victoria Walker, ‘New Ways to Know the Medieval: Creativity, Pedagogy & Public Engagement’, Old English Newsletter, 46 (2016)

Allfrey, Fran, and Francesca Brooks, ‘A Gift for the Illuminated Sphere’, Textual Practice, 30 (2016), 15-17



‘Poetry’s Imagined Community: Review of The Plural of Us by Bonnie Costello', Cambridge Quarterly, 47 (2018), 279-285