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Prof. Richard North

has an abiding interest in Anglo-Saxon paganism, whose cause he hopes to have served with his Pagan Words and Christian Meanings (Rodopi, 1991) and Heathen Gods in Old English Literature (Cambridge University Press, 1997), as well as in Beowulf and other Old English heroic poetry and works on literary relations between England and Scandinavia from the seventh to the eleventh centuries. He has written on The Seafarer, The Wanderer, Deor and Widsith, all poems in the Exeter Book, as well as on The Dream of the Rood and the Ruthwell Cross, in which he did some collaborative work with Prof Éamonn Ó Carragáin (Emeritus) of Cork. His more recent books are The Origins of Beowulf: from Vergil to Wiglaf (Oxford University Press, 2006) and an introductory book (co-edited with Joe Allard) for sixth-formers and first-year undergraduates, 'Beowulf' & Other Stories (Pearson Longman, 2007), for which he is the principal editor of a sequel with annotated texts in original and translation, the forthcoming Pearson Anthology of Old English, Old Icelandic and Anglo-Norman Literatures.

Richard's research interests relate also to Life Stories in that his book on Beowulf controversially argued not only for a date of composition (AD 826-27) but also for the identity of the poet of this work as Eanmund of Breedon (died c. 848), an abbot whose observations at first hand of the turbulent politics of Mercia in her declining years may have helped to define his version of the Scandinavian story. Richard has also argued that the Icelandic chieftain Sighvatr Sturluson, the brother of Snorri, was the author of the Saga of Slayer-Glúmr (c. 1225), and, with regard to Editions, he has returned to worked intensively on Old Norse mythology, editing two Skaldic poems, the Haustlöng of Þjóðólfr of Hvinir (c. 900) and the Húsdrápa of Úlfr Uggason (c. 995).

At the moment Richard is researching on the influence of Beowulf on other, as it were ‘later’, works, on the OE poem Andreas , which he is keen to represent as a type of mock-epic; and on the early fifteenth-century Saga of Grettir the Strong , through literary connections between England and Iceland in the eleventh century.

As principal supervisor, he helped Dr Mike Bintley (Trees and Woodland in Old English Literature) to his doctorate in two years, and currently supervises four MPhil-PhD students on the themes of Birds, Gift-Exchange, Runes in Manuscripts, and West Saxon Education. He is glad to consider applications for MPhil-PhD work in any of the areas above.

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