Joan Turville-Petre (née Blomfield) was the daughter of Sam Blomfield of Colchester, Essex. In 1930 she began her studies at Somerville College, Oxford University and she maintained a lifelong connection with the college. She was a Tutor and Fellow from 1941 to 1946, a Lecturer in English from 1946 to 1965 and an Honorary College Research Fellow from 1965 until her death in 2006.
On 7 January 1943, Joan Turville-Petre married Gabriel Turville-Petre, a fellow Oxford academic working in the same field. J. R. R. Tolkien and his wife were among the guests. They had three sons: Thorlac Francis Samuel (born 6 January 1944), Merlin Oswald (born 2 July 1946) and Brendan Arthur Auberon (16 September 1948 – 6 December 1981).
Joan Turville-Petre died at the age of 94. Her funeral was held at St Michael's, Aylsham on 23 March 2006.
- "Runes and the Gothic alphabet" Saga-Book of the Viking Society for Northern Research 12 (1937–45) 177–94; 209–31
- "Studies on the Ormulum MS." Journal of English and German Philology 46(1) (January 1947), 1-27
- The story of Rauð and his sons Trans. from the Icelandic by J.E. Turville-Petre. Viking Society for Northern Research. Payne Memorial Series II. (1947)
- "Hengest and Horsa" Saga-Book of the Viking Society for Northern Research 14 (1953-7) 273-90
- "Sources of the Vernacular Homily in England, Norway and Iceland" Arkiv för Nordik Filologi 75 (1960), 168-82.
- "Translations of a Lost Penitential Homily" Traditio 19 (1963) 51-78
- "The metre of Icelandic court poetry" Saga-Book of the Viking Society for Northern Research 17 (1966–69) 326–51
- "Beowulf and Grettis saga: An excursion" Saga-Book of the Viking Society for Northern Research 19 (1974–77) 347–57
- "The genealogist and history: Ari to Snorri" Saga-Book of the Viking Society for Northern Research 20 (1978–81) 7–23
- The Old English "Exodus" Text, translation and commentary by J. R. R. Tolkien; edited by Joan Turville-Petre. Clarendon Press, Oxford (1981)
- Meulengracht Sørensen, Preben The unmanly man: concepts of sexual defamation in early northern society Trans. by Joan Turville-Petre. Odense: Odense University Press (1983)
- Jón Hnefill Aðalsteinsson A Piece of Horse Liver: Myth, Ritual, and Folklore in Old Icelandic Sources Trans. by Terry Gunnell and Joan Turville-Petre, Háskólaútgáfan Félagsvísindastofnun (1998)
- Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion & Guide: Chronology, 2006, 1065
- The Times 14 March 2006
- Joan Turville-Petre, Obituary, Saga-Book of the Viking Society for Northern Research 30 (2006)