Nancy Mason Bradbury

Professor Emerita of English Language & Literature

Nancy Bradbury

Contact & Office Hours

Fall 2020
Monday, 11 a.m.–noon
Tuesday, 4–5 p.m.
And by appointment.

Seelye Hall 409



Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

M.A., Boston College

A.B., Smith College


Nancy Mason Bradbury teaches and writes about the poetry of Chaucer, medieval romances and tales, proverbs and other microgenres, literary representations of the language of medieval peasants and 19th-century medievalism.

Her courses include Chaucer, English Literary Tradition I, Victorian Medievalism (with Cornelia Pearsall), Arthurian Legend, and a new seminar on Robin Hood.  She teaches a first-year seminar, Eden and Other Gardens, in cooperation with the Botanic Garden. Her courses often draw upon Smith’s distinctive collections, from plants to rare books.

Her most recent book is a collection of essays, Medieval Women and Their Objects (2017), co-edited with Jenny Adams, she has a forthcoming essay on Middle English healing charms and is writing a book on proverbs in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Her articles have appeared in Speculum, Studies in the Age of Chaucer, Chaucer Review, Medium Aevum, Oral Tradition, Studies in Philology and Studies in English Literature 1500–1900.

Bradbury participates in Smith’s Book Studies Concentration and the Medieval Studies Program, and she chaired the English department from 2008–11 and in the spring of 2019.

Selected Publications

Medieval Women and Their Objects. Co-edited with Jenny Adams. University of Michigan Press, 2017. Twelve essays including her own, "Zenobia’s Objects."

"The Proverb as Embedded Microgenre in Chaucer and The Dialogue of Solomon and Marcolf." Exemplaria 27 (2015): 55-72. Special issue on Genre Theory.

"The Victorian Afterlife of the Thornton Romances." In Medieval Romance and Material Culture. Ed. Nicholas Perkins. Cambridge, UK: D. S. Brewer, 2015. 253-74.

"'A Definite Claim to Beauty': The Canterbury Tales in the Kelmscott Chaucer." In Essays on Aesthetics and Medieval Literature in Honor of Howell Chickering. Ed. John Hill, Bonnie Wheeler, and R. F. Yeager. Toronto: Pontifical Institute, 2014. 262-90.

The Dialogue of Solomon and Marcolf: A Dual-Language Edition from Latin and Middle English Printed Editions. With Scott Bradbury. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute, 2012.

Time, Measure, and Value in Chaucer's Art and Chaucer's World.  With Carolyn P. Collette. Guest-edited issue of Chaucer Review 43.4 (2009). Introduction and co-authored essay, "Changing Times: The Mechanical Clock in Late Medieval Literature."

"Representations of Peasant Speech: Some Literary and Social Contexts for The Taill of Rauf Coilyear." In Medieval Romance, Medieval Contexts. Ed. Rhiannon Purdie and Michael Cichon. Cambridge, U.K: Boydell and Brewer, 2011.

"Rival Wisdom in the Dialogue of Solomon and Marcolf," Speculum 83 (2008): 331-65.

The Afterlife of Origins. Co-edited with Arlyn Diamond. Symposium with six contributors in Studies in the Age of Chaucer 28 (2006): 219-70.

Writing Aloud: Storytelling in Fourteenth-Century England. University of Illinois Press, 1998.