Nils-Lennart Johannesson


This research project aims at producing a new text edition of the Middle English twelfth century homily collection Orrmulum (written by the Augustinian canon Orm from Lincolnshire), based on a new transcription of the existing manuscripts (Bodleian Library, MS Junius 1: Orm’s holograph; Lambeth Palace Library, MS 783: a seventeenth century copy of parts of the text, including parts which have subsequently been lost from Junius 1). Orm’s original text (before he executed a series of changes, deletions and additions, partly in order to normalise his linguistic expressions) will be reconstructed as far as possible, partly with the aid of computer analysis of digital images of passages of erased text. With the support of a generous grant from the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), a complete set of digital images of the manuscript pages have been acquired from the Bodleian Library. 

Since Nils-Lennart Johannesson’s death in 2019, his colleagues Andrew Cooper and David Minugh have been preparing his nearly-completed edition for publication. A digital version will be available by 2021, and a critical edition of the text should be released shortly after this. In parallel with the production of the text edition, the text will also be investigated as a witness to linguistic variation in early Middle English, with special reference to recently discovered forms and constructions in Orm’s original (non-normalised) version of the text.

Along the way, newly discovered words, word forms, syntactic variation patterns, text sources etc. have been and will be reported separately.

Project homepage: (coming soon)

For any questions about the project, please contact Andrew Cooper.