In this series exploring the sights and stories of Europe’s most historic cities, Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough leads an expedition through the Norwegian capital’s lengthy history.  In episode seven of this new series exploring the sights and stories of Europe’s most beautiful, intriguing and historic cities, travel journalist Paul Bloomfield is joined by historian, author and broadcaster Dr Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough for a journey around Oslo. Together, they explore the city’s Viking origins, medieval fortifications, modern museums and its scenic hinterland, and meet some of the characters who influenced its evolution. Plus, Eleanor offers up some top advice for history-loving globetrotters.

In this series exploring the sights and stories of Europe’s most historic cities, Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough leads an expedition through the Norwegian capital’s lengthy history. In episode seven of this new series exploring the sights and stories of Europe’s most beautiful, intriguing and historic cities, travel journalist Paul Bloomfield is joined by historian, author and broadcaster Dr Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough for a journey around Oslo. Together, they explore the city’s Viking origins, medieval fortifications, modern museums and its scenic hinterland, and meet some of the characters who influenced its evolution. Plus, Eleanor offers up some top advice for history-loving globetrotters.

In today’s episode, Tom and Dominic are joined by Dr Eleanor Barraclough as they sail across the Atlantic in a dragon-ship, bound for the epic world of the Norse sagas. What society did the Vikings set up in Iceland? How did they get to America? Why were they always so violent?

In today’s episode, Tom and Dominic are joined by Dr Eleanor Barraclough as they sail across the Atlantic in a dragon-ship, bound for the epic world of the Norse sagas. What society did the Vikings set up in Iceland? How did they get to America? Why were they always so violent?

What myths did the Norse believe, and what influence did they exert on daily life? Was the trickster god Loki really that bad, and was Odin really that wise? And why is Christianity a crucial part of the story? Speaking to Kev Lochun, historian and broadcaster Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough answers listener questions about the pantheon of Norse myths, from the yawning void of Ginnungagap to the end of days, Ragnarok.

What myths did the Norse believe, and what influence did they exert on daily life? Was the trickster god Loki really that bad, and was Odin really that wise? And why is Christianity a crucial part of the story? Speaking to Kev Lochun, historian and broadcaster Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough answers listener questions about the pantheon of Norse myths, from the yawning void of Ginnungagap to the end of days, Ragnarok.

Few people in European history have had as many stories told about them as the Vikings. We know about them from novels, films, TV series and games. But telling stories about the Vikings is nothing new. In fact the richest stories come from the Middle Ages in the form of sagas that were mainly written down in Iceland. As part of her special month of episodes exploring the Vikings on Gone Medieval, Dr. Cat Jarman meets Medievalist Dr. Eleanor Barraclough to explore the sagas and sort out the facts from the fiction about the Vikings.

Few people in European history have had as many stories told about them as the Vikings. We know about them from novels, films, TV series and games. But telling stories about the Vikings is nothing new. In fact the richest stories come from the Middle Ages in the form of sagas that were mainly written down in Iceland. As part of her special month of episodes exploring the Vikings on Gone Medieval, Dr. Cat Jarman meets Medievalist Dr. Eleanor Barraclough to explore the sagas and sort out the facts from the fiction about the Vikings.

Michael Berkeley talks to the Viking historian Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough. With music by Sibelius, Frode Fjellheim, and Eriks Esenvalds.

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough is steeped in Viking lore. She travels through the icy landscapes of the Far North in the footsteps of those Norse “far travellers” who have left us their wonderful poetic stories of kings and trolls and dragons. She’s an Associate Professor at Durham University and an AHRC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker, and her fieldwork has taken her pretty much everywhere the Vikings went: through Greenland, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, and Orkney. Recently she went to stay on the Arctic island of Svalbard, where in 24-hour darkness she encountered a family of polar bears. 

Eleanor Barraclough’s music list full of snow and ice – glittering, shimmering music – from the Norwegian composer Frode Fjellheim and Sibelius’s 5th Symphony, through Eriks Esenvalds’ “Northern Lights”, to Martin Carthy, singing “Lady Franklin’s Lament”. She ends with music by Geoffrey Burgon that will resonate with anyone growing up at the end of the last century: the theme tune to the BBC dramatization of Narnia.

BBC History Extra Podcast: Sherwood Forest

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough takes a trip to the home of Robin Hood to explore how forests have shaped our history and mythology.

Michael Rosen discovers how the Vikings changed English, using their anger, verbs and great hair. With author Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough.

Michael Rosen discovers how the Vikings changed English. These invaders brought with them the words knife, gun, slaughter, ransack and anger. But then they settled, using their anger, verbs and great hair to transform our grammar, and our understanding of the landscape. With author Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough and historical linguist Laura Wright.

Longborough Opera Festival (interview)

Writer and librettist Sophie Rashbrook chats to the historian Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough and soprano Lee Bisset, who was set to have been Brünnhilde in Wagner’s Die Walküre at Longborough in the postponed 2020 season. In their discussion they explore the roles and mythical origins of Wagner’s women.

For Christmas Day, Sheila celebrates the Wild Boar Feast, an ancient Viking tradition which still survives in Britain.

For Christmas Day, Sheila celebrates The Wild Boar Feast – an ancient Viking tradition which still lingers on in Britain (think of ‘pigs in blankets’) and inspires our love of the Christmas Ham. Historian Eleanor Barraclough introduces Sheila to a stuffed boar’s head in the cellars of Queen’s College, Oxford, and explains about how the boar was at the centre of mid-winter pagan fertility rituals. In Cumbria, Sheila meets a field of wild boar and talks to farmer Peter Gott about the fearsome intelligence of his huge beasts. Scandinavian chef Trine Hahnemann reveals the huge importance of the Christmas boar in Sweden, and how to make a meatball sandwich for Boxing Day. And chef Giorgio Locatelli explores the passion for wild boar across Italy. With music from The Boar’s Head Carol, the oldest printed carol in English, and recipes from Trine Hahnemann and Giorgio Locatelli.

What do The Mask, Thor, and The Saga of the Viking Women and their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent? And what has this all got to do with Richard Wagner?

Norse Mythology and Marvel Comics

What do The Mask, Thor and The Saga Of The Viking Women And Their Voyage To The Waters Of The Great Sea Serpent have in common? And what has this all got to do with Richard Wagner? Norse mythology expert Eleanor Barraclough explains all.

Jordskott is the latest TV crime import from Scandinavia, this time from the Swedish state broadcaster SVT and drawing heavily on Norse folklore. Dr Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, specialist in Nordic culture and history, reviews the programme.

Jordskott Review

Exploring connections between Nordic Noir tv shows and the Old Norse-Icelandic sagas.

Nordic Noir and the Sagas. New Generation thinker Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough is a specialist in Old Norse Literature at Oxford University. She’s just returned from Denmark where she has been studying original manuscripts of Icelandic Sagas – dark tales of murder and mayhem. Eleanor is also an addict of Scandinavian TV crime dramas like The Killing and The Bridge and in her first piece for Night Waves she reflects on the possible relationship between Nordic Noir TV and Old Norse Tales.

Radio 3 New Generation Thinker and expert in Nordic sagas Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough joins novelist Joanna Kavenna to discuss Icelandic culture.

Icelandic Culture Discussion

As the Iceland Symphony Orchestra appear at the Proms, Radio 3’s New Generation Thinker and expert in Nordic sagas Eleanor Rosamond Barraclough joins novelist Joanna Kavenna to discuss Icelandic culture.

Their conversation will range from trolls and the myth of Thule to Nordic Noir, from the 19th century British visitors who included William Morris and Anthony Trollope to modern poets Glyn Maxwell and Simon Armitage.

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough reviews the Tove Jansson exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Tove Jansson Review

A review of the Dulwich Picture Gallery’s Tove Jansson exhibition, to celebrate the centenary of the Finnish artist and author’s birth.

Christopher Cook explores the fascinating world of the Icelandic saga, with guests Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough and Elizabeth Ashman Rowe.

Music inspired by the natural elements forms the second half the programme; a sea crossing to the Faroe Islands is painted by Nielsen, the nymphs in Greek mythology who inhabit the Mediterranean Sea appear in Sibelius’s Oceanides, and the dynamic weather of Peter Maxwell Davies’s Orkney home inspires his chilly Ebb of Winter. In an all Danish first half, Jakob Kullberg joins the orchestra for Between, Per Norgard’s cello concerto and the programme opens with Gade’s dark Hamlet Overture.

Interview on the publication of Beyond the Northlands: Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas (Oxford University Press).

Beyond the Northlands

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough has published Beyond The Northlands: Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas. She was selected as one of the New Generation Thinkers in 2013 in a scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council which works with academics who want to turn their research into radio.

Dragons from Beowulf to Smaug.

Dragons

As the second of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films, The Desolation of Smaug, hits big screens all over the country, we celebrate the Dragon of the North in myth and literature. Unlike its Chinese counterpart, western dragons signal trouble from their origins at the bottom of the Norseman’s world to their place atop piles of treasure in Old English Beowulf and J R R Tolkien. Norse and Anglo-Saxon expert and New Generation Thinker Eleanor Barraclough and John Lennard, literature and fantasy scholar, join forces to guide Matthew through a maze of dragons, drakes, worms and were-dragons to discover what is old about the monster and what has been added by modernity and especially modern warfare.

A sneak preview of a viking-themed Son et Lumiere show at the Illuminating York festival.

Illuminating York

It is a thousand years since King Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ of Denmark was named king of England in 1013 and the Illuminating York Festival is marking the city’s Viking history with an artwork in the form of a Son et Lumiere based around Old Nordic and Anglo Saxon texts. Eleanor Barraclough, Radio 3 New Generation Thinker and lecturer in medieval literature at Durham University, has had a sneak preview.

Discussion about the Norse god Loki with author Joanne Harris.

Loki

Author Joanne Harris and Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough discuss the god Loki and the power of Norse mythology. Recorded at the Free Thinking Festival for the Northern Lights season.