Oxford University Press, 2016

In the dying days of the eighth century, the Vikings erupted onto the international stage with brutal raids and slaughter. But this is far from the whole story of medieval Norse activities abroad. The Norse travelled to all corners of the medieval world and beyond; north to the wastelands of Arctic Scandinavia, south to the politically turbulent heartlands of medieval Christendom, west across the wild seas to Greenland and the fringes of the North American continent, and east down the Russian waterways, trading silver, skins, and slaves. Beyond the Northlands explores this world through the stories that the Norse told about themselves in their own words, through the Old Norse-Icelandic sagas. 

Guardian: Top Ten Books About the Vikings

It’s not all raiding and looting – these stories and histories range from family dramas to political thrillers, not to mention man-eating trolls and bawdy gods.

BBC Countryfile: Dark Age Britain

After the end of Roman Britain, the land became a melting pot of Britons, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings – all of whom variously shaped the character of our countryside.

National Geographic: Viking Lore

Archaeologists have confirmed key details in Norse oral histories (but not the dragons, elves, and trolls). The Vikings had “a long oral history going back centuries,” says Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough. “It’s very hard to separate the facts from the fiction.”

History Today: Warriors of No Nation

Norse travellers reached every corner of the known world, but they were not tourists. The ‘racially pure’ Vikings of stereotype were, in fact, cultural chameleons adopting local habits, languages and religions.

BBC Countryfile: Forests of the Mind

Haven in troubled times or lair of magic and monsters, the forest beguiles and frightens in equal measure. Eleanor Barraclough explores our relationship with the deep dark wood through legends old and new.

BBC Countryfile: Vikings at Large in the Countryside

Waves of Vikings brought terror to the British Isles over 1,000 years ago and they left a deep mark on the landscape, as Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough discovers for a new BBC Radio 4 programme.

BBC History: Ancient Forests

Charlotte Hodgeman and Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough explore Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, an ancient woodland that for centuries nourished both body and imagination.

Telegraph: True Norse

Idyllic social equality or countries ridden by alcoholism? Eleanor Barraclough visits the Nordic to bust the myths for a radio 3 documentary.

BBC World Histories: Gudrid Thorbjarnardóttir

Old Norse sagas laud the exploits of Erik the Red and Leif Eriksson, but their real hero is female. Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough introduces the First Lady of Viking Vinland.

BBC World Histories: Global City – Nuuk

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough explores the city once known as Godthåb (Good Hope), settled by Inuit hunters, Norse exiles and missionaries.


University of Alberta Press, 2016

Edited with Danielle Cudmore and Stefan Donecke

‘Turning to face north, face the north, we enter our own unconscious. Always, in retrospect, the journey north has the quality of dream.’ (Margaret Atwood, ‘True North’.)

In this interdisciplinary collection, sixteen scholars from twelve countries explore the notion of the North as a realm of the supernatural. This region has long been associated with sorcerous inhabitants, mythical tribes, metaphysical forces of good and evil, and a range of supernatural qualities. It was both the sacred abode of the gods and a feared source of menacing invaders and otherworldly beings. Whether from the perspective of traditional Jewish lore or of contemporary black metal music, few motifs in European cultural history show such longevity and broad appeal.

BBC World Histories: Global Cities – Oslo

From Neolithic hunters and Viking sailors to Arctic explorers and pioneering painters, Oslo’s inhabitants have left a diverse legacy. Eleanor Barraclough explores the sights of the Norwegian capital.

BBC Countryfile: Medieval Farming

September 2018

In medieval times, the feudal system dominated the land until the Black Death changed everything, says Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough.

BBC World Histories: Brunhild

Germanic legends of valkyries may have been based on a strong-willed medieval ruler of northern Europe. Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough introduces the real Brunhild.

The Best Books on Vikings: A Five Books Interview

The Vikings discovered America and traded slaves in Baghdad. They sometimes buried their dead in ships, but probably did not burn them. And they did not wear horned helmets. Historian Eleanor Barraclough separates myth from reality and recommends books on the medieval Norse pillagers who have fascinated everyone from Hollywood to Hitler.


L’éléphant: Les vikings – itinéraires d’une diaspora

Interview about the multicultural history of the Viking diaspora for French magazine L’éléphant.

BBC World Histories: Museum of the World – The Franks Casket

This is testament to the astonishing wealth of cultural and historical influences circulating in England.