Political culture fascinates me, and in particular the design and deployment of rhetoric for political effect. I study this in the context of 13th-14th c. English royal administration and its domestic and diplomatic interlocutors. I am also interested in the question of women’s power, and especially their participation in diplomatic exchange. My recent monograph explores royal letters in the reign of Edward I. A forthcoming edited volume, with my colleague Prof. Constant Mews, examined the relationship between concepts of justice/injustice and political and moral complaint/advice in the Middle Ages, through the lens of the seventh-century Irish text De duodecim abusiuis saeculi and its reception. I am developing a major new project on secrecy and diplomacy in the later middle ages.

Cover image: Lincolnshire County Archive BNLW 1/1/55/1, c.1230-1250 (image, K. Neal).


PhD (History), Monash University. 2014.

PhD (Physiology, Anatomy & Cell Biology), The University of Melbourne. 2008.

MSt Historical Research (Medieval), Oxford University. 2002.

BSc/BA (Hons), The University of Melbourne. 2000.



Neal, Kathleen B., The Letters of Edward I: Political Communication in the Thirteenth Century (Woodbridge, 2021).

Journal Articles

Neal, Kathleen. “Royal Women and Intra-Familial Diplomacy in Late Thirteenth-Century Anglo-French Relations.” Women’s History Review. DOI 10.1080/09612025.2020.1827736

Neal, Kathleen B., et al. “A Team-Based ‘Public History’ Assessment for Undergraduates: Rationale, Design and Implementation in a Medieval History Course.” International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 30.2 (2018): 334–349.

Neal, Kathleen, Andrew Lynch, and David Headon. “Magna Carta: Personal Encounters, Popular Culture and Australian Links.” Papers on Parliament 65 (2016): 85-115.

Neal, Kathleen. “Words as Weapons in the Correspondence of Edward I with Llywelyn Ap Gruffydd.” Parergon 30.1 (2013): 51–71.

Book Chapters

Neal, Kathleen. “Letters and Political Discourse under Edward I.” Edward I: New Interpretations. Eds. King, Andy and Andrew M. Spencer. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2020, 143-62.

Neal, Kathleen. “From Letters to Loyalty: Aline la Despenser and the Meaning(s) of a Noblewoman’s Correspondence in Thirteenth-Century England.” Authority, Gender and Emotion in Late Medieval and Early Modern England. Ed. Broomhall, Susan. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2015. 18–33.

Public History

BBC History Extra Podcast: The Letters of Edward I. February 3, 2021.

Neal, Kathleen. “The Excommunication of King John.” Medieval Lego. Ed. Beights, Greyson. San Francisco: No Starch Press, 2015. 31-33.

—. “The First Parliament, Held 1265.” Medieval Lego. Ed. Beights, Greyson. San Francisco: No Starch Press, 2015. 58-60.

—. “The Signing (sic) of Magna Carta.” Medieval Lego. Ed. Beights, Greyson. San Francisco: No Starch Press, 2015. 42-44.


Neal, Kathleen, Rev. of Chris Jones (ed.), “John of Paris: Beyond Royal and Papal Power”, Parergon 37:1 (2020), 263-264.

—. Rev. of McDougall, Sara, “Royal Bastards: The Birth of Illegitimacy 800-1230” (Oxford, 2017). HistSex List, H-Net (2017). Web.

—. Rev. of “Lost Letters of Medieval Life: English Society, 1200-1250”, Eds. Carlin, Martha and David Crouch (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013). Eras 16.2 (2015): 122-24. Web.

—. Rev. of Barthélemy, Dominique, “The Serf, the Knight and the Historian”. Journal of the Australian Early Medieval Association 6 (2010): 117-20.

—. Rev. of Arnold, John H., “What is Medieval History?”. Parergon 27.1 (2010): 185-86.

—. Rev. of Schulte, Petra, Marco Mostert and Irene van Renswoude, (eds), “Strategies of Writing: Studies on Text and Trust in the Middle Ages”. Parergon 27.1 (2010): 248-50.

—. Rev. of Thomas, H. M. “The Norman Conquest” / Harper-Bill, C. & van Houts E. (eds), “Companion to the Anglo-Norman World”. Journal of the Australian Early Medieval Association 5 (2009): 217-20.

—. Rev. of Clanchy, M. T., “England and its Rulers: 1066-1305”, 3rd Ed. Journal of the Australian Early Medieval Association 4 (2008): 233.

—. Rev. of Keen, E., “The Journey of a Book: Bartholomew the Englishman and the Properties of Things”. Parergon 25.2 (2008): 166-68.

—. Rev. of Hourihane, C. (ed.), “Time in the Medieval World: Occupations of the months & signs of the zodiac in the Index of Christian Art”. Parergon 25.2 (2008): 164-66.

—. Rev. of Chinca, M., Young, C. (eds) “Orality and Literacy in the Middle Ages”. Parergon 24.2 (2007): 174-76.

—. Rev. of Arlinghaus, F. J., Ostermann, M., Plessow, O., Tscherpel, G. (eds) “Tranforming the Medieval World: Uses of Pragmatic Literacy in the Middle Ages”
Parergon 24.2 (2007): 163-65.

Murray, Elizabeth, and Kathleen B. Neal. Rev. of Exhibition, “The Medieval Imagination—Illuminated manuscripts from Cambridge, Australia and New Zealand”, State Library of Victoria. The Melbourne Historical Journal 36 (2008): 91-4.

Neal, Kathleen B., and Anne Holloway. Rev. of O’Sullivan, D., “Marian Devotion in Thirteenth-Century French Lyric”. Journal of the Australian Early Medieval Association 3 (2007): 233.

Scientific Work

Neal, K. B., L. J. Parry, and J. C. Bornstein. “Strain-Specific Genetics, Anatomy and Function of Enteric Neural Serotonergic Pathways in Inbred Mice.” Journal of Physiology-London 587.3 (2009): 567-86.

Neal, K. B., and J. C. Bornstein. “Mapping 5-Ht Inputs to Enteric Neurons of the Guinea-Pig Small Intestine.” Neuroscience 145.2 (2007): 556-67.

—. “Serotonergic Receptors in Therapeutic Approaches to Gastrointestinal Disorders.” Current Opinion in Pharmacology 6.6 (2006): 547-52.

Blog Posts


    Addressing Injustice in the Medieval Body Politic. Australian Research Council Discovery Project, 2019-21.



    ANZAMEMS (Secretary, 2022 –)

    British Records Association

    Haskins Society

    History Council of Victoria (Board member, 2017–20)


    Pipe Rolls Society (Council member, 2018–)

    Royal Studies Network (Royal Studies Journal, Advisory board, 2013–)

    Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship

    Kathleen B. Neal

    Profile picture of Kathleen B. Neal


    Active 2 months, 3 weeks ago