George Hardin Brown

Professor of English (and Classics)

Medieval language and literature

Curriculum Vitae

The Early Medieval Monastic Library and Scriptorium:
The Case of Wearmouth-Jarrow

Italy 2004







Born in Denver, Colorado, in 1931, George Brown did his undergraduate studies as a Jesuit at St. Louis University, and, after gaining an advanced degree in philosophy, he received an M.A. in English, studying Renaissance literature under Walter Ong. In Innsbruck, Austria, he studied theology for four years under the Jesuit Professors Karl and Hugo Rahner and Josef Jungmann. After further studies in Europe he went to Harvard for his doctorate in English, writing his thesis on Christ the Warrior-King in Old English literature, directed by Morton Bloomfield. He learned paleography from Chauncey Finch at St. Louis Univeristy (Greek and latin) and Malcolm Parkes of Keble College, Oxford (Medieval English). Following two years' teaching at St. Louis University, Brown came to Stanford in 1971. He was chair of the Medieval Studies Program for twelve years. Recipient of the Dinkelspiel award for his contribution to education, he teaches Old and Middle English language and literature, history of the English language, post-classical Latin, theology and medieval literature, monasticism, Arthurian literature, humanities, and (in the library department of Special Collections) paleography. He gave the Centennial Lectures at the University of New Mexico. He is a member or officer in local, national, and international professional organizations, past president of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (ISAS) and of the Medieval Association of the Pacific (MAP), is a longstanding member of the Stanford Library Associates. He has been a collaborating editor of the Bulletin Codicologique of Scriptorium, and is a reviewer for a number of publications and presses. His research has been mainly in Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Latin literature, history, theology, and paleography, resulting in articles and essays on Beowulf, Cynewulf's Christ II, Old English verse, Bede and Alcuin, the tenth-century English Benedictine reform, Chrétien de Troyes' Yvain, and on medieval manuscripts. He has written a book on Bede the Venerable and edited the essays of Stanley Greenfield in Hero and Exile. Although he spends most of his days happily teaching classes and working in the library, he and his family like to travel.