Deborah Thorpe – About me

Deborah Thorpe

Deborah Thorpe

I am a postdoctoral fellow at the University of York, researching at the Centre for Diseases and Disorder (C2D2) on a project entitled: ‘Neurodegenerative Disorders and the Handwriting of Medieval Scribes: Using the Past to Inform the Future’. Last year, I was a Discipline-Hopping Intern in the same centre, learning the skills necessary to analyse handwriting digitally, and forming interdisciplinary networks. My work is part-funded by the Wellcome Trust.

In 2012-13, I was a post-doctoral researcher at the British Library, employed by the University of York on the Digital Index of Middle English Verse. I was transcribing manuscripts and mining them for the textual and historical information that they contain. This has fostered a growing interest in the digital humanities, which I would like to develop further. I’m also interested in medieval gentry networks, the socio-political history of the fifteenth century, and literary studies of the texts and writers of the late-medieval period.

I have developed a keen interest in public engagement, and in policy surrounding healthcare and ageing. Therefore, my blog reflects this diversity in my interests.

Debs Thorpe



  1. Dear Debs,
    I’d like to introduce myself. Ulrike Wuttke suggested that I contact you about the conference on Early Modern Prophecies coming up in London. I and another colleague (both of us work on prophecy) are proposing a panel on prophecies in the transitional period between manuscript and print. Ulrike thought that you might have some interest. If so, I could tell you more about what we’re proposing and see if you’d like to join us. Let me know. All the best.

    Frances Courtney Kneupper :

  2. Charlotte Whatley · · Reply

    Hi there!
    I actually heard about your new project from my friend Abby Gautreau. I am a medievalist currently working on legal writs from the King’s Bench and Common Pleas in the reign of Edward III. When she mentioned your project, I was immediately intrigued because I have run across a number of documents that are in a very interesting hand (I have categorized them as looking as if they were written from the back of a horse at full gallop). Not sure if these would be of interest, but I thought I would contact you to see. Hope to hear from you.

    1. Hi Charlotte! I would be very interested. One of the great things about my new project is the potential for collaboration and inspiration like this! I will send you a proper email when I am at my desk. Thanks for getting in touch.

    2. Hi Charlotte. Could you send me your email address, to

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