I was born in Newport, South Wales, but moved to Leicestershire at the age of three. Studying Chaucer at A-level inspired me to do a BA in English Language with Medieval Literature at the University of Sheffield. After a gap year doing voluntary work with disabled people, I went on to postgraduate study at the University of Oxford, where I took a taught MPhil in English Medieval Studies 1100–1500 and then completed a doctorate on Old Norse-Icelandic literature.

I came to Cardiff University in 1999 to take up a lectureship in Old English and Old Norse, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2007, Reader in 2010, and Professor in 2012.

I have been a member of the Council of the Viking Society for Northern Research since 2001, an editor of the Society’s journal Saga-Book since 2004 and co-editor of its Text Series since 2007. I served on the committee of Teachers of Old English in Britain and Ireland from 2007 to 2014.

Statue of Byrhtnoth at Maldon