About

I am a Lecturer in Early Medieval Insular History at the University of Edinburgh. Before I came to Edinburgh in 2015, I had been the Osborn Fellow in Medieval History and Culture at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (2013-15), and had held temporary lectureships in medieval history at Balliol College, Oxford (2012-13) and St Hugh’s College, Oxford (2011-12).

Most of my work to date has focused on the religious cultures of the early Middle Ages, looking at the way that beliefs and ideas changed and evolved during the period between c. 500 and c. 1000 CE. My first book, Angels in Early Medieval England (Oxford University Press, 2016) was awarded the inaugural Ecclesiastical History Society Book Prize, and the International Society for the Study of Early Medieval England Best First Monograph Prize. My current research explores the place of animals in medieval medicine, investigating both the ways that animals were cared for and the ways that they themselves were implicated in the processes of human medicine.

Publications

Books:

Angels in Early Medieval England (Oxford University Press, 2016)
[Awarded the Ecclesiastical History Book Prize, and the International Society for the Study of Early Medieval England Best First Book Prize. Shortlisted for the Royal Historical Society Whitfield Prize.]

Articles and chapters:

‘The heirs of Bishop Wilfrid: succession and presumption in early Anglo-Saxon England’English Historical Review 134, no. 571 (2019), pp. 1377-1404

‘A family and its saint in the Vita prima Samsonis, in Lynette Olson (ed.), St Samson of Dol and the Earliest History of Brittany, Cornwall and Wales (Boydell and Brewer, 2017), pp. 19-36

‘The Lives of St Samson: rewriting the ambitions of an early medieval cult’Francia 38 (2011) pp. 1-31

‘Hengest and Horsa: the manipulation of history and myth from the adventus Saxonum to Historia BrittonumNottingham Medieval Studies 51 (2007), pp. 1-19

Translations: 

‘Geoffrey of Monmouth’, ‘Walter Map’, and ‘Arthur and Gorlagon’, in Laura Ashe (ed.), Early Fiction in England: From Geoffrey of Monmouth to Chaucer (Penguin, 2015)

Richard Sowerby

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