The Hay 30 – Eleanor Rosamund BARRACLOUGH

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough is Lecturer in Medieval History and Literature at Durham University. She studied Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge before taking up a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Oxford.

In 2013 she was chosen as one of ten BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers, in a competition to find young academics with the potential to turn their research into programmes for broadcast. Since then, she has presented BBC radio documentaries on subjects including the supernatural north, fire in Scandinavian culture, apocalypses, and Nordic identity. She is the author of Beyond the Northlands: Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas, published by OUP.

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The Hay 30 is made possible by the generous support of the CASE foundation.

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Hay Festival 2017

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough

Beyond the Northlands: Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas

Hay Festival 2017, 

The depiction of the Viking world in the Old Norse-Icelandic sagas goes far beyond historical facts. What emerges from these tales is a mixture of realism and fantasy, quasi-historical adventures and exotic wonder-tales that rocket far beyond the horizon of reality. On the crackling brown pages of saga manuscripts, trolls, dragons and outlandish tribes jostle for position with explorers, traders and kings.

Hay Festival 2019

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough

From Raiders to Rulers: The Vikings in Anglo-Saxon England

Hay Festival 2019, 

“Never before has such a terror appeared in Britain as we have suffered from a pagan race, nor was it thought that such an inroad from the sea could be made,” wrote the Anglo-Saxon scholar Alcuin, in response to the first major Viking raid on Lindisfarne. From these notorious early attacks at the end of the 8th century to all-out war in the time of Alfred; from the extortion of ‘Danegeld’ in the reign of Æthelstan to two decades of rule under Cnut, the Scandinavian impact on Anglo-Saxon culture and politics was enormous. In a wide-ranging overview, Eleanor Barraclough explores some of the truths behind the Vikings’ lurid reputation, and shows the evidence to be found in the rare documents on display in the British Library.