MA Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic (Cambridge); PhD (Cambridge)

Academic background

I was educated at Newnham College, Cambridge. In 1989–93 I was a Research Fellow then Fellow and Tutor at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. In 1993–2007 I then served as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Professor of Early Medieval History at the University of Sheffield. In 2007 Queen Elizabeth II appointed me to the the Regius Chair of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Oxford.

Undergraduate teaching

The courses I teach include History of the Western Church, 1050–1350 and the English Church and Mission, 597–754. 

Research interests

My research focuses on medieval monasticism, particularly Anglo-Saxon monasteries and women in religion. I have wider interests in the early medieval Church and society and the invention of the English, and in historiography and historical theory. An edition of the Anglo-Saxon Charters of Bury St Edmunds Abbey prepared with Kathryn A Lowe is forthcoming with the British Academy. I am currently completing a major study of the life and work of the Venerable Bede. 

Featured publications

Veiled Women: the Disappearance of Nuns from Anglo-Saxon England (2 vols, Ashgate, 2000)

Monastic Life in Anglo-Saxon England c. 600–900 (Cambridge University Press, 2006)

Æthelstan: the First King of England (Yale University Press, 2011)

The Oxford History of Historical Writing, II 600–1400, ed. with Chase F. Robinson (Oxford University Press, 2012)

The Sage Handbook of Historical Theory, ed. with Nancy Partner (Sage Publications, 2013)

Bede’s Church, Jarrow Lecture 2012 (St Paul’s Church, Jarrow, 2013)