Matthew Bradley

Having received my lowest ever grade in an A-Level Chaucer exam, my transformation into a medievalist at Queen’s came as quite a shock to me and my family. In what could uncharitably be perceived as an atonement for my schooltime failures, I wrote my undergraduate English dissertation on the social function of humour in The Canterbury Tales, cementing an interest in the entertainment of late medieval England. After receiving the Hugh Graham Mitchell Bursary in English Literature, the Dr Henry Hutchinson-Stewart literary scholarship, the Esther Ballantine prize and the McMullan prize at the 2019 AEL prizegiving ceremony and taking a photo of myself in an academic gown outside Greggs, I embarked on the MA Literary Studies at Queen’s in the same year. In 2020, I begun work on my PhD thesis, “ ‘Trewely the game is wel bigonne’: Ludic Narratives in Late Medieval Literature” in 2020, supervised by Dr Stephen Kelly and Dr James Davis. This project seeks to illuminate the wide-reaching influence of the ludic on Middle English literature, exploring how the mechanics of games and play not are not only reflected in the subjects of medieval literature, but also affect narrative, genre and performance. In Autumn 2021, I also taught on the second-year English module, “Havoc and Rebellion: Writing and Reading Late Medieval England”.