Rory McTurk graduated from Oxford in 1963, took a further degree at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík in 1965, and after teaching at the universities of Lund and Copenhagen, and then University College, Dublin, took up a post at Leeds University in 1978.
In addition to his two authored books, Studies in Ragnars Saga Loðbrókar and its Major Scandinavian Analogues (Oxford, 1991) and Chaucer and the Norse and Celtic Worlds (Aldershot, 2005), he has edited the Blackwell Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature and Culture (Oxford, 2004), and co-edited, with Andrew Wawn, a volume of essays, Úr Dölum til Dala (Leeds, 1989) in commemoration of the Icelandic scholar Guðbrandur Vigfússon (1827-89). He has also contributed five edited texts to A New Introduction to Old Norse, Part II, Reader (5th edition, ed. Anthony Faulkes, London, 2011).
His publications also include two Icelandic saga translations, two book-length translations of scholarly works on Icelandic topics (one from Swedish, the other from Icelandic), numerous essays and articles in journals, and a translation (published in 2007) of an Icelandic novel, The Thief of Time, by Steinunn Sigurðardóttir (Reykjavík, 1986).