Prof Lesley Abrams

Honorary Research Fellow

Academic Interests

I began my research with a study of Glastonbury Abbey and its archive in the pre-Conquest period, and I retain an interest in all apects of the Anglo-Saxon Church and anything to do with charters. Some of my research and publications have concentrated on the conversion to Christianity, whether of the English in the seventh century or Scandinavians in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh. I am interested in all aspects of the Scandinavian world in the early middle ages, including viking activity and the history of Scandinavia, and I have worked particularly on Scandinavians abroad, applying an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to issues of integration and interaction between incomers and established societies. My current project is a study of political baptisms and the conversion of vikings in ninth- and tenth-century Francia.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and Emeritus Professor of Early Medieval History and Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. I am also an Honorary Research Fellow, University of East Anglia (2016-19); Honorary Professor, School of English, University of Nottingham (2017-20); a member of the Editorial Committee of Viking and Medieval Scandinavia (2005- ); and a council member of the English Place-Name Society (2015- ).

Selected Publications

- ‘The Study of Scandinavian Settlement in the Viking Age: Historiographical Perspectives on the Application of Place-Names in England and Normandy’, in L’historiographie des mondes normands, ed. P. Bauduin and E. d’Angelo, Naples (forthcoming)

- ‘Connections and Exchange in the Viking World’, Byzantium and the Viking World (ed. F. Androshchuk, J. Shepard, and M. White) (Stockholm, 2016), pp. 27-52

- Bede, Gregory, and Strategies of Conversion in Anglo-Saxon England and the Spanish New World, Jarrow Lecture (2015)

- ‘The Conversion of Scandinavians in Britain and Ireland: an Overview’, in Vers l’Orient et vers l’Occident. Regards croisés sur les dynamiques et les transferts culturels des vikings à la Rous ancienne. Eastwards and Westwards: Multiple Perspectives on the Dynamics and Cultural Transfers from the Vikings to the Early Rus’, ed. P. Bauduin and A. Musin (Caen, 2014), pp. 327-37

- ‘Early Normandy’, Anglo-Norman Studies 35 (2013), 45-64

- ‘Diaspora and Identity in the Viking Age’, Early Medieval Europe 20:1 (2012), 17-38

- ‘Conversion and the Church in Viking-Age Ireland’, Proceedings of the Fifteenth Viking Congress, ed. J. Sheehan et al. (2009), pp. 1-10

- ‘King Edgar and the Men of the Danelaw', in Edgar, King of the English 959-975. New Interpretations, ed. D. Scragg (Woodbridge, 2008), pp. 171-91

- ‘Germanic Christianities, 600-1100', Cambridge History of Christianity, vol. 3, ed. T. Noble and J.M.H. Smith (Cambridge, 2008), pp. 107-29

- ‘Place-Names and the History of Scandinavian Settlement in England', Land, Sea and Home, ed. J. Hines et al. (Leeds, 2004), pp. 379-431 (with David N. Parsons)