Emeritus Fellow; formerly Fellow and Tutor in English

Academic Background

Mr Jacobs studied Classics and then English at Christ Church, Oxford (1960-64). He was a lecturer in English language and mediaeval literature at Balliol and St John's Colleges (1966-1972) and the University of Bristol (1972-1976). He has been Tutor in English at Jesus College since 1977, and also teaches for Oriel College. He is a member of the English Faculty Board, serving on its Undergraduate Studies Committee.

He was O'Donnell Lecturer in Celtic Studies, University of Oxford (1986-7) and held visiting positions in 1991 at Perm State University, U.S.S.R. and Scoil na Léinn Cheiltigh, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. He was President of the Oxford Medieval Society (1992-3). He was elected to the International Association of University Professors of English (2000), to honorary membership of Sociedad Española de Lengua y Literatura Inglesa Medieval (2003), and was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (2006). He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature.

Undergraduate Teaching

Subjects formerly taught by Mr Jacobs include Old and Middle English (from the beginnings to 1500).

Research Interests

Theory and practice of textual criticism, Mediaeval Welsh gnomic and nature poetry.

His publications include:
Medieval English Romances (with AVC Schmidt), 1980.
The Later Versions of Sir Degarre: A Study in Textual Degeneration, 1995.
Hispano-Gallo-Brittonica: Essays on Continental Celtic and Early Welsh in Honour of D. Ellis Evans on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday (edited with Joseph F. Eska and R. Geraint Gruffydd) 1995.


Mr Jacobs enjoys writing poetry and retreating to North Wales. Future projects will, it is hoped, include a comparative study of praise-poetry in Ancient Greek, Middle Irish and Middle Welsh.


Subject notes for courses taught by Mr Jacobs at Jesus College:
Classics and English
English and Modern Languages
History and English

See also Faculty of English website.