Emeritus Professor Brian Richardson

Emeritus Professor Brian Richardson

Emeritus Professor of Italian Language

+44 (0)113 343 3632

Summary: The late Middle Ages and Renaissance; the history of the Italian language; the history of the circulation of texts


I held a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship from 2005 to 2008, working on the circulation of literature in Renaissance society with particular reference to manuscripts and the spoken or sung word. In 2009 I was co-investigator in a Workshops project, supported by the AHRC, on Scribal Culture in Italy, 1450-1650. I gave the Panizzi lectures for 2012 at the British Library on the topic of Women, Books and Communities in Renaissance Italy (podcasts here). In 2011-15 I am principal investigator of a project, funded by the European Research Council, entitled Oral Culture, Manuscript and Print in Early Modern Italy, 1450-1700. I was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy in 2003.

Selected recent publications

Monographs and editions

Articles and essays

  • 'From Scribal Publication to Print Publication: Pietro Bembo's Rime, 1529-1535', Modern Language Review, 95 (2000), 684-95
  • 'The Italian of Renaissance Elites in Italy and Europe', in Anna Laura Lepschy and Arturo Tosi (eds), Multilingualism in Italy Past and Present (London: Legenda, 2002), pp. 5-23 
  • 'Inscribed Meanings: Authorial Self-Fashioning and Readers' Annotations in Sixteenth-Century Italian Printed Books', in Ian F. Moulton (ed.), Reading and Literacy in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, 8 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2004), pp. 85-104
  • '"Recitato e cantato": The Oral Diffusion of Lyric Poetry in Sixteenth-Century Italy', in Brian Richardson, Simon Gilson, and Catherine Keen (eds), Theatre, Opera, and Performance in Italy from the Fifteenth Century to the Present: Essays in Honour of Richard Andrews (Leeds: Society for Italian Studies, 2004), pp. 67-82
  • 'Latin and Italian in Contact in some Renaissance Grammars', in Anna Laura Lepschy and Arturo Tosi (eds), Rethinking Languages in Contact: The Case of Italian (London: Legenda, 2006), pp. 28-41
  • 'La stampa', in Gino Belloni and Riccardo Drusi (eds), Il Rinascimento italiano e l'Europa, vol. II (Treviso: Fondazione Cassamarca, 2007), pp. 139-55
  • 'The Diffusion of Literature in Renaissance Italy: The Case of Pietro Bembo', in Simon Eliot, Andrew Nash and Ian Willison (eds), Literary Cultures and the Material Book (London: British Library, 2007), pp. 175-89
  • 'The Concept of a lingua comune in Renaissance Italy', in Anna Laura Lepschy and Arturo Tosi (eds), The Languages of Italy: Histories and Dictionaries (Ravenna: Longo, 2007), pp. 13-30
  • 'Dalla metà del Quattrocento alla metà del Cinquecento', in Bice Mortara Garavelli (ed.), Storia della punteggiatura in Europa (Bari and Rome: Laterza, 2008), pp. 99-121
  • 'A Scribal Publisher of Political Information: Francesco Marcaldi', Italian Studies, 64 (2009), 296-313
  • 'Autografia e pubblicazione manoscritta nel Rinascimento', in Guido Baldassarri and others (eds), 'Di mano propria': gli autografi dei letterati italiani. Atti del Convegno internazionale di Forlì, 24-27 novembre 2008 (Rome: Salerno Editrice, 2010), pp. 269-85
  • '"Varie maniere di parlare": Aspects of Learning Italian in Renaissance Italy and Britain ', in Vilma De Gasperin (ed.), 'Ciò che potea la lingua nostra': Lectures and Essays in Memory of Clara Florio Cooper, The Italianist, 30 (2010), Special Supplement, 78-94
  • (joint editor with Filippo de Vivo), Scribal Culture in Italy, 1450-1700, Italian Studies, 66.2 (2011)
  • 'A Year in Lorraine: The Imagined Cultural Community of Muzio Manfredi’s Lettere brevissime (1606)', in Danielle Hipkins (ed.), Intellectual Communities and Partnerships in Italy and Europe: Studies in Honour of Mark Davie (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2012), pp. 15-31
  • 'Isabella d’Este and the Social Uses of Books', La Bibliofilìa, 114 (2012), 293-325


Editorial Work

I was general editor of the Modern Language Review from 2003 to 2013 and I am a co-editor of The Italianist.