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   Ryan Lavelle    Ryan Lavelle
Cnut cover

Ryan Lavelle, BA (Hons) MA PhD FRHistS, is Reader in Early Medieval History at the University of Winchester, specializing in Anglo-Saxon and early medieval military and political history, and is the author of a range of books and articles relating to the Middle Ages. 

He is author of Cnut: The North Sea King, published in the Penguin Monarchs series in December 2017. He also advised on the television drama series The Last Kingdom.

Ryan's current project is a study of 'contested places' in the early and central Middle Ages - Landscape, Location, and Contested Power in England and France, from the Ninth to the Twelfth Century: Lairs and Ramparts of Earthly Pride.


Viral History The Early Medieval World

'Ryan is interviewed for Viral History. Why early medieval history? What made Anglo-Saxon society tick?
18 May 2017 

BBC History Cover Story Vikings, Anglo-Saxons and Political Dealings

Ryan Lavelle with Michael Wood
'How England Rode the Viking Storm' addresses the compromises, contacts and diplomacy between Anglo-Saxons and Vikings during the ninth and tenth centuries as 'Northmen' started to become 'Danes', people whom the Anglo-Saxons could deal with. Naturally, it mentions a certain BBC drama series...
10 October 2015 

BBC series Speaking to Michael Wood about Anglo-Saxon rulers

Ryan Lavelle with Michael Wood

Ryan is interviewed by historian and broadcaster Michael Wood for the BBC Four series King Alfred and the Anglo-Saxons. Ryan spoke with Michael about the Alfredian legacy and the lessons of war and peace learnt by the son and daughter of King Alfred, Edward the Elder and Aethelflaed, 'Lady of the Mercians', for episode 2 of the series (first broadcast on 13 August 2013).
7 August 2013 

Making History Vikings and the South-west

Ryan Lavelle speaks to Tom Holland outside Winchester Cathedral

Ryan appeared on BBC Radio 4's Making History programme on Tuesday 27 September, speaking about Odda, the ninth-century Ealdorman (governor) of Devon and the 878 Viking-Age battle of Cynuit. Was Odda a forgotten English hero and have the achievements of Alfred the Great eclipsed the memory of this little-known battle? Ryan spoke to Tom Holland at the fitting location of Winchester cathedral about the man, the battle, and the ways in which the different sources remember them.

21/27 September 2011 

BBC History Magazine Finding the Vikings

BBC History Magazine October cover 100 Places that Made Britain cover

Following January's article on 'Fighting the Vikings' (see below), the October 2011 edition of BBC History Magazine sees an interview with Ryan about the impact of Vikings upon the British Isles, Where History Happened: Alfred and the Vikings. The six-page article provides a tour of places in Britain and Northern Ireland linked with ninth-century Viking campaigns. The Magazine's new tie-in book, 100 Places that Made Britain (BBC Books, 2011), sees Ryan recommending Scutchamer Knob, another Viking-Age landmark that 'made Britain'.

19 September 2011

Wargames Illustrated From Research to the Games Table

Wargames Illustrated cover Wargames Illustrated article sample

Ryan's article, 'Rethinking "Saxon" Wargaming', features in the April 2011 edition of Wargames Illustrated. The article applies research from Alfred's Wars to tabletop historical wargaming in Britain in the Viking Age. Click the link to the left for a more detailed view of the first two pages from the article (opens in a new window; reproduced with permission). Ryan's review of Gripping Beast's new 28mm scale 'Saxon Thegns' is in the online reviews section of the Wargames Illustrated website.

Alfred's Wars
  Going to War in Viking Age England

Launching Alfred's Wars, Ryan spoke to the
Winchester branch of the Historical Association on 12 January, on the subject of Going to War in Viking Age England
. Click the link below to hear an edited recording (42 mins) of the lecture.


Please note: The audio file is for information and is a record of a live lecture. Therefore the text of the published book, which contains full references to relevant sources, should be cited for any arguments therein.  The MP3 file can be saved for use by right-clicking the link and selecting 'Save as...'. The file and the recording are copyright (c) 2011 Ryan Lavelle, and are for personal, non-profit-making use only. Please provide a link to the homepage if you wish to link to the file.

BBC History Magazine Cover Story and Podcast

BBC History Magazine January cover

Ryan's article, Fighting the Vikings, featured as the cover story in the January 2011 issue of BBC History Magazine.  He spoke on the magazine's monthly podcast about the experience of warfare in Britain during the Viking Age.


Ryan is a member of the following societies and organizations:

University of Winchester
Royal Historical Society (fellow)
Wessex Centre for History and Archaeology
Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society

site updated 12 Dec 2017