Students Staff

Honorary Lecturer

Dr David Rundle

Staff positionLecturer

David Rundle is a Lecturer and the Co-Director of the Centre for Bibliographical History. He is an intellectual and cultural historian of Renaissance Europe, including the British Isles. He joined the Department in September 2013, having spent more years than he cares to admit at the University of Oxford. He cannot deny that he went up to Oxford a boy and left there balding.

David's research is particularly interested in the travels of ideas across Renaissance Europe. In studying this, he makes especial use of the material evidence of surviving books to reconstruct the itineraries that text took.This is most successful when studying manuscripts with the wealth of information that the handwriting and construction of the volume - its palaeography and its codicology - can provide historians.This methodology is central to a set of special lectures David gave in Oxford in the autumn of 2013 on 'English Humanist Scripts up to c. 1509'. Those lectures are being revised for publication by Cambridge University Press, in their Studies in Palaeography and Codicology series. He is also co-author, with Prof. Ralph Hanna, of the catalogue of manuscripts, up to c. 1600 in Christ Church, Oxford, which is to be published by Oxford Bibliographical Society.

David is also principal investigator for a digital history project which investigate the culture we have lost through the destruction over the centuries of medieval manuscripts. It catalogues fragments, beginning with those found in the bindings of volumes of Samuel Harsnett, archbishop of York (d. 1631) now held in the library of the University of Essex. Do visit the website, Lost Manuscripts.

While best known for his work on humanism in England, David has also published widely on topics including the fate of libraries in the Renaissance and early modern periods, on Renaissance political culture and on the historiographical traditions of 'Renaissance' studies. He also shares his research and thoughts on his blog, Bonæ Litteræ. He has been a guest on Radio Four's In Our Time.

His work often forces him to take research trips to Italy,  a fate he suffers nobly. When not partaking of Italian cuisine, he can be found in his own kitchen, experimenting and wondering why he did not become an historian of food (and drink).


Monographs forthcoming and in preparation

  • (with Ralph Hanna), Descriptive Catalogue of the Western Manuscripts, up to c. 1600, of Christ Church, Oxford (Oxford Bibliographical Society)
  • The Renaissance Reform of the Book and Britain: the English Quattrocento (Cambridge University Press)

Edited Books

  • Editor (with Alessandra Petrina), Renaissance Studies, xxvii/4 (September 2013), special issue on 'The Italian University in the Renaissance', including self-authored article entitled 'Beyond the Classroom: international interest in the studia humanitatis in the university towns of Quattrocento Italy'
  • Editor, Humanism in Fifteenth-Century Europe [Medium Ævum Monograph, xxx] (Oxford, 2012), including own chapter on 'Humanism across Europe: The Structures of Contacts' and (with Oren Margolis) the 'Biographical Appendix of Italian Humanists of the Fifteenth Century'.
  • Editor (with Martin McLaughlin), Renaissance Studies, xvii / 1 (March 2003), special issue entitled 'Bonæ Litteræ: recent research in the studia humanitatis'.
  • Editor, The Hutchinson Encyclopedia of the Renaissance (Oxford: Helicon Publishing, 1999).


  • 'The Circulation and Use of Humanist 'Miscellanies' in England', Mélanges de l'École française de Rome, cxxviii (2016), published on-line to date (hard-copy late 2016)
  • 'Heralds of Antiquity: Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini and the "British Thucydides"' in A. Frazier and P. Nold ed., Studies in Renaissance Thought and Letters in Honor of John Monfasani (Leiden: Brill, 2015), pp. 23-35
  • 'Good Duke Humfrey: Bounder, Cad and Bibliophile', Bodleian Library Record, xxvii ([2015 for] 2014), pp. 36-53.
  • 'Un amico del Roscoe: William Shepherd and the first modern Life of Poggio Bracciolini (1802)' in Stella Fletcher ed., Roscoe and Italy. The Reception of Italian Renaissance History and Culture in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, 2012), [ISBN: 9781409404910], pp. 177 – 194.
  • 'From Greenwich to Verona: Antonio Beccaria, St Athanasius and the Translation of Orthodoxy', Humanistica, v (2010 [published 2012]), pp. 109 – 119.
  • 'English Books and the Continent' in A. Gillespie and D. Wakelin ed., The Production of Books in England, 1350 – 1530 (Cambridge: CUP, 2011) [ISBN: 9780521889797], pp. 276 – 291.
  • 'Editor’s Introduction' to R. Weiss, Humanism in England during the fifteenth century [4th edition], ed. David Rundle & A. J. Lappin ([on-line] Oxford: SSMLL, 2010), pp. vi – xliv.
  • Entries in M. Suarez & H. Woudhuysen ed., Oxford Companion to the Book (Oxford: OUP, 2010).
  • 'The Unoriginality of Tito Livio Frulovisi’s Vita Henrici Quinti', English Historical Review, cxxiii (2008), pp. 1109 – 1131.
  • 'Filippo Alberici, Henry VII and Richard Fox: the English fortunes of a little-known Italian humanist', Journal of Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, lxviii (2005 [published 2007]), pp. 137 – 155.
  • 'Humanist Eloquence among the Barbarians in fifteenth-century England' in C. Burnett & N. Mann ed., Britannia Latina [Warburg Institute Colloquia, viii] (London & Turin, 2005), pp. 68 – 85.
  • 'The scribe Thomas Candour and the making of Poggio Bracciolini’s English reputation', English Manuscript Studies 1100 – 1700, xii (2005), pp. 1 – 25.
  • 'Tito Livio Frulovisi, and the place of comedies in the formation of a humanist’s career', Studi Umanistici Piceni, xxiv (2004), pp. 193 – 202.
  • 'Habits of manuscript-collecting and the dispersals of the library of Humfrey, Duke of Gloucester' in J. Raven ed., Lost Libraries (London, 2004), pp. 106 – 124.
  • 'The Two Libraries: humanists' ideals and ecclesiastics' practice in the book-collecting of Paul II and his contemporaries' in P. Gilli ed., Humanisme et Eglise en Italie et en France méridionale (Xve siècle -milieu du XVIe siècle) [Collections de l'École Française de Rome] (Rome, 2004), pp. 167 – 185.
  • (with Scott Mandelbrote), 'Corrigenda and Addenda' in the reprint of Neil Ker's Pastedowns in Oxford Bindings [Oxford Bibliographical Society] (Oxford, 2004).
  • 'Polydore Vergil and the translatio studiorum: the tradition of Italian humanists in England' in R. Bacchielli ed., Polidoro Virgili e la cultura umanistica europea (Urbino, 2003), pp. 53 – 74.
  • 'Carneades' Legacy: the morality of eloquence in the papalist and humanist writings of Pietro del Monte (c. 1400 – 57)', English Historical Review, cxvii (2002), pp. 284 – 305.
  • 'Was there a Renaissance style of politics in late medieval England?' in S. Gunn & G. Bernard ed., Authority and Consent in Tudor England (Ashgate, 2002), pp. 15 – 32.
  • 'Humanism before the Tudors' in J. Woolfson ed., Reassessing Tudor Humanism (London, 2002), pp. 22 – 42.
  • 'A Renaissance Bishop and his Books: a preliminary survey of the manuscript collection of Pietro del Monte (c. 1400 – 57)', Papers of the British School at Rome, lxix (2001), pp. 245 – 272.
  • '"Not so much praise as precept": Erasmus, panegyric and the Renaissance art of teaching princes' in N. Livingstone & Y. L. Too ed., Pedagogy and Power (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 148 – 169.
  • 'Two unnoticed manuscripts from the collection of Humfrey, Duke of Gloucester', Bodleian Library Record, xvi (1998), pp. 211 – 224 & 299 – 313.
  • 'On the difference between Virtue and Weiss: humanist texts in England during the fifteenth century' in D. Dunn ed., Courts, Counties and the Capital in the Later Middle Ages (Stroud: Alan Sutton Publishing, 1996), pp. 181 – 203.
  • 'A new Golden Age? More, Skelton and the accession verses of 1509', Renaissance Studies, ix (1995), pp. 58 – 76. [abstract]

Book Reviews

David reviews for English Historical Review, Medium AEvum, Renaissance Studies and Renaissance Quarterly. He has recently contributed a short article to a book review forum on Stephen Greenblatt's The Swerve in the journal Exemplaria.


Forthcoming Lectures:

  • '"Law Padowe": English views of Padua before Shakespeare', Padua, 9th June 2016

Recent Invited Lectures include:

  • 'The International Reputation of Poggio Bracciolini', Bryn Mawr College, 10th April 2016
  • 'Slipping or Switching? Shifting scripts between humanist and gothic', Masterclass at the Early Book Society conference, Oxford, July 2015
  • 'The Butcher of England and the Reform of Learning: John Tiptoft, earl of Worcester and England's Role in the Renaissance', Bibliographical Society, Society of Antiquaries, London, 17th February 2015
  • 'The Renaissance in the North: Durham, York and the fortunes of humanist script', Annual Durham History of the Book Lecture, 29th October 2014
  • 'Diffusione e uso delle miscellanee in Inghilterra', Rome, March 2014
  • 'What is the point of a library without reading? The use of books in late medieval culture', University College, Cork,. February 2014
  • 'The Story and the Book or the Story versus the Book', Storytelling in Court and Cloister, York, 2nd November 2013
  • 'English Humanist Scripts, up to c. 1509', a set of six lectures supported by the J.P.R. Lyell Fund, Oxford, autumn 2013 (starting on 17th October)
  • ‘Veracity, Sincerity and Irony: eloquent humanists and the challenge of remaining honest’, Conference: Les Vecteurs de l’idéel: Verité, École française, Rome, December 2012
  • ‘How Libraries Die, or what the fate of medieval manuscripts in early modern England can teach us’, University of Reading, June 2012 [related posting on Bonæ Litteræ]
  • ‘The English Hand in Rome: Barbarous Britons and the Renaissance Arts of the Book’, British School at Rome, March 2011 [related posting on Bonæ Litteræ]
  • ‘Beyond the classroom: international interest in the studia humanitatis in the university towns of quattrocento Italy’, University of Padua, April 2010
  • ‘The Butcher of England and Renaissance eloquence: John Tiptoft, earl of Worcester and the adoption of humanism in Yorkist England’, University of Cork, December 2009

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