Literary scholar; university professor. Born– September 23, 1930, Birmingham. Parents– Emmett Colson and Hope (Bennett) Robinson. Married– Helen Caroline Wild, June 1959. Children– Two. Education– Birmingham-Southern College, B.A., 1952; University of North Carolina, M.A., 1953; Ph.D, 1960. Served in the U.S. Army, 1954-1956. Taught at Samford University, 1960-1965; Cornell University, 1965-1967; Yale University, 1971-2000 (Douglas Tracy Smith Professor of English, 1983-2000). Received a Guggenheim Fellowship, 1975-1976; American Association of Arts and Sciences Fellowship, 1976-1977. Served on the editorial board of Anglo-Saxon England Journal, Journal of English Linguistics, and Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile. Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and and the Medieval Academy of America.  Awarded the William Clyde DeVane Medal in undergraduate teaching at Yale.  Honorary doctorate from UNC, 2010. The foremost American scholar of the earliest period of English language and literature.


Contemporary Authors online


Beowulf and the Appositive Style. Knoxville, Tenn.; University of Tennessee Press, 1985.

A Bibliography of Publications on Old English Literature, to the End of 1972 …. Toronto; University of Toronto Press, 1980.

A Guide to Old English. Toronto; University of Toronto Press, 1982.

Old English Literature; a Select Bibliography. Toronto; University of Toronto Press, 1970.


Modes of Interpretation in Old English Literature; Essays in Honour of Stanley B. Greenfield. Toronto; University of Toronto Press, 1986.


Old English Verse Texts From Many Sources; a Comprehensive Collection. Copenhagen; Roserkilde and Bagger, 1991.