Nick Havely



Nick Havely's main interests are in late medieval literature (especially Dante, Boccaccio and Chaucer) and in English-Italian literary relations. He has produced scholarly editions of Chaucer's Friar's, Summoner's and Pardoner's Tales (1975), Chaucer's House of Fame (1994, 2nd edition 2013) and (with Helen Phillips) Chaucer's Dream Poetry (1997), together with a number of articles and chapters on Chaucer. His published work on Italian trecento poetry began with a volume of translations: Chaucer's Boccaccio: Sources for Troilus and the Knight's and Franklin's Tales (1980; reissued 1992). This was followed by a number of articles and chapters on Dante and the reception of Dante, then by a collection of edited essays: Dante's Modern Afterlife: Reception and Response from Blake to Heaney (1998) and a monograph on Dante and the Franciscans: Poverty and the Papacy in the 'Commedia' (2004), for which he was awarded an AHRC research grant.

His other publications include chapters on 14th-century Italian, French and English literature for The New Cambridge Medieval History vol. 6 (2000); and on 'The Italian Background' for Chaucer: An Oxford Guide (2005). He is author of the volume on Dante for the Blackwell Guides to Literature series (2007) and editor of two recent volumes of essays: Dante in the Nineteenth Century: Reception, Canonicity, Popularization (2011); and Dante in the Long Nineteenth Century: Nationality, Identity, and Appropriation. Currently, he is completing a study of Dante's British Public, from the Fourteenth Century to the Present for which he was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship. 



In press is a revised and expanded edition of Chaucer's problematic dream-poem, The House of Fame. This originally appeared in the Durham Medieval Texts series (1994) and the new edition will be published by the Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies, Toronto (2013).

Due for completion in 2013 is a ten-year study of Dante's British Public: Texts and Readers from the Fourteenth Century to the Present. This deals with a wide range of writing (criticism, translation, polemic, journals, letters, annotations, catalogues of collections) reflecting the presence of and conversation about Dante in Britain over the course of nearly seven centuries. It engages with the visual and performing arts, as well as with literature and the cultural contexts for some of the major writers in English. It draws upon unpublished material in archives and collections not only in the UK but also in Germany, India, Italy, South Africa, and the USA.  The project has been supported by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2007-8), and the book will be published by Oxford University Press.

Ongoing projects include a book with the provisional title of Apennine Excursions: Journeys on the Edge of Tuscany which follows itineraries through the human history of the mountains of central Italy - from medieval clerics through eighteenth- and nineteenth-century tourists to the multi-ethnic combatants of World War II. This will be supported by a Fellowship at the Fondazione Bogliasco (Genoa) in 2014.


I am have supervised PhD projects on a considerable variety of topics: Lay 'anticlerical' writing in 14th- and 15th-century England ; The writing of civic history in 14th- and 15th-century London and York; Youth and Masculinity in Tudor Interludes; Elements of the Fantastic in the Brendan legend; Royal Pardons in the 14th century; Women's life writing in colonial Kenya; Rurality in medieval and renaissance literature; Reception of Dante in the 19th and 20th centuries; Chaucer and Medieval Optics; Joyce and Dante.



My teaching for the Department of English and Related Literature has covered a broad span, from medieval English and Italian literature through to twentieth- and twenty first-century texts.


In MA teaching at the Centre for Medieval Studies, my work has also ranged widely, including not only late medieval English but also England's relationship to Continental Europe and the work of major European writers of the period, such as Dante and Chaucer.

Nick Havely

Contact details

Prof. Nick Havely
Department of English and Related Literature
University of York
Y010 5DD

Tel: 44 1904 323366