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Jinty Nelson joined the department at KCL in 1970, and retired in 2008. She joined the editorial collective of History Workshop Journal in 1990, the editorial board of Past and Present in 1995 and has served on the advisory boards of a number of other journals. She was a co-founder of the Women’s History Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research in 1985, and has been a convenor of the IHR’s Earlier Medieval Seminar for some 30 years. In the course of her career, she supervised 32 doctoral students to completion. She was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1996, serving as Vice President from 1999 to 2001, and a Corresponding Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America in 2000. She was President of the Royal Historical Society from 2000 to 2004. She became a Fellow of KCL in 2004.  She was appointed a DBE in 2006. She served as President of KCLA from 2008-10.  She holds honorary degrees from UEA, St Andrews, Queen’s Belfast, York, Nottingham, Liverpool and Glasgow.

Research interests and publications

Jinty Nelson (a.k.a. Janet L. Nelson) has published extensively on early medieval Europe, including Anglo-Saxon England. Her research focus has been on kingship, government and political ideas, on religion and ritual, and increasingly on women and gender. She is currently writing a biography of Charlemagne, as well as being co-investigator on the AHRC-funded Making of Charlemagne’s Europe project, PI Alice Rio (KCL). She co-directed with Simon Keynes (Cambridge) and Stephen Baxter (KCL) the AHRC-funded project Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England (PASE and PASE2).

Four collections of her papers have been published:

  • Politics and Ritual in Early Medieval Europe (London, Hambledon,1986)
  • The Frankish World (London, Hambledon, 1996)
  • Rulers and Ruling Families in Earlier Medieval Europe (London, Ashgate, 1999)
  • Courts, Elites and Gendered Power (Ashgate, Farnham, 2007)

She has co-edited and contributed to, most recently, Rituals of Power in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, with Frans Theuws (Leiden, Brill, 2000), The Medieval World, with Peter Linehan (London, Routledge, 2001), Law, Laity and Solidarities ed. with Pauline Stafford and Jane Martindale (Manchester University Press, 2001), Lay Intellectuals in the Early Middle Ages, with Patrick Wormald (Cambridge University Press, 2007), Early Medieval Studies in Memory of Patrick Wormald, with Stephen Baxter, Catherine Karkov and David Pelteret (Farnham, Ashgate, 2009) and Gender and Historiography: Studies in the earlier Middle Ages in Honour of Pauline Stafford, with Susan Reynolds and Susan Johns (London, University of London, 2012).

Her biographical study, Charles the Bald (London, Longman, 1992), and her annotated translation of The Annals of St-Bertin (Manchester University Press, 1991), reflect her interest in Frankish kingship and in the Vikings on the Continent, while other papers on Alfred of Wessex address comparable themes in Anglo-Saxon history.

She has published over 200 books and papers plus more book-reviews than she can remember. She co-founded and co-edited, with Rosemary Horrox, the translation-series Manchester Medieval Sources from 1991 until 2009, and is now co-editor, with Henrietta Leyser, of The Oxford History of Medieval Europe (2011 -).