Heather O’Donoghue is Professor of Old Norse at the University of Oxford, Vigfússon Rausing Reader in Ancient Icelandic Literature and Antiquities, and a Fellow of Linacre College. Her publications include Skaldic Verse and the Poetics of Saga Narrative (Oxford, 2005), From Asgard to Valhalla: The Remarkable History of the Norse Myths (IB Tauris, 2007) and English Poetry and Old Norse Myth: A History (Oxford, 2014) as well as number of individual articles about the influence of Norse myth on poets such as Blake, Morris, MacDiarmid, Auden and Heaney, and novelists such as R.L. Stevenson, Thomas Hardy, Herman Melville and Neil Gaiman. She is currently working on a book provisionally entitled Narrative in Old Norse Literature: Meanings of Time in the Icelandic Family Sagas, and is a co-editor of the Cambridge History of Old Norse-Icelandic Literature.
Heather O’Donoghue grew up in Middlesbrough, and has maintained strong links with the North East of England, particularly through her work on the history of the Viking age settlement of the area. She did her undergraduate degree – in English Literature – at Westfield College, University of London, and after postgraduate work at Somerville College, she was appointed to a Fellowship in Medieval English Literature and the History of the English Language at Somerville, moving to her present post at Linacre College in 1991. Heather is married to the poet and academic Bernard O’Donoghue, and they have three grown-up children and four grandchildren. They spend part of the year in Ireland, and are both deeply committed to the world of Irish traditional music, especially the distinctive traditions of Sliabh Luachra.