Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Sunday, 21 March 2021

James Campbell on the man at Sutton Hoo

The Sutton Hoo ship burial has been attracting renewed, indeed possibly new, interest because of the television drama about its discovery and excavation in 1939. History Extra has now published an article written by that very distinguished Anglo-Saxonist the late Professor James Campbell. He wrote the article in 2015, the year before he died. Originally a later medievalist mentored by K.B. Macfarlane as a Fellow of Worcester College here in Oxford James Campbell developed a formidable reputation as an interpreter of the Anglo-Saxon centuries. 

This article, written at the end of a long and very distinguished academic career, is a magisterial  overview of the burial mound and its context. Reading it is a journey through the Anglo-Saxon world, both material and mental. It is probing and provocative in the best academic way. Not a few of recurring themes in James Campbell’s interpretation of the age are displayed, notably the sophistication of Anglo-Saxon society and culture, and overall there is a marvellous mastery of the surviving evidence.  

It is quite a scoop for History Extra and I am linking to it in this post. I consider it an honour to have the late Professor, whom I only met once or twice, as a guest contributor on this blog. His article can be read at The man at Sutton Hoo

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