Why did the Vikings sail to England? Were they indiscriminate raiders, motivated solely by bloodlust and plunder?
Eleanor Parker is Lecturer in Medieval English Literature at Brasenose College, Oxford. Her DPhil, obtained in 2013 from the University of Oxford, addressed the subject of Anglo-Scandinavian literature in post-Conquest England. Dr Parker writes an acclaimed blog in her guise as `A Clerk of Oxford', described as `an orchard of golden apples' by Christopher Howse in the Daily Telegraph. In 2015 her blog won the Longman-History Today Award for Digital History, and she now writes a regular column for History Today.
`In this welcome new book, Eleanor Parker sketches the fascinating and varied ways in which the people of medieval England reflected upon their Viking past - both real and imagined. Part literary study, part historical investigation and part folkloric inquiry, it makes a riveting and rewarding read.' - Levi Roach, Lecturer in Medieval History, University of Exeter, author of AEthelred: The Unready, `Dragon Lords offers an absorbing and authoritative account of the survival of Scandinavian legends and history in post-Conquest England. From dragon-ships to bears' sons, and sinners to saints, Eleanor Parker's nuanced readings of English, French, Old Norse and Latin sources unpack a wealth of unfamiliar and exciting stories. This beautifully written book succeeds in casting Viking invaders and settlers in an unexpected new light.' - Carolyne Larrington, Professor of Medieval European Literature, University of Oxford, author of The Land of the Green Man: A Journey Through the Supernatural Landscapes of the British Isles, `Dragon Lords tells the fascinating and hitherto unknown story of how the Viking invasions of England were turned into myth and legend by those whom the Scandinavians raided and later ruled. These intriguing tales, some still familiar today, feature fierce Viking warriors such as the vengeful sons of Ragnar Lothbrok; or powerful Earl Siward, the grandson of a bear; and the Danish kings of England, Svein Forkbeard and Canute. Eleanor Parker - who is already celebrated for making the medieval accessible with her much admired blog "The Clerk of Oxford" - vividly re-tells and contextualises this material (with its dragons, raven banners and unturning tides) while demonstrating at the same time a truly impressive command of Anglo-Scandinavian history and literature.' - Heather O'Donoghue, Professor of Old Norse, University of Oxford, author of From Asgard to Valhalla: The Remarkable History of the Norse Myths