Professor Edmund King

M.A., Ph.D. (Cantab.), FSA

Department of History

Professor Emeritus of Medieval History


Edmund King is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at the University of Sheffield. He took his bachelor and doctoral degrees at the University of Cambridge, where he was a student of M. M. Postan. He joined the History department at Sheffield in 1966 and has held a chair since 1989.

He has held visiting fellowships at the Huntington Library, USA (where he was a Fulbright Scholar), and at All Souls College, Oxford, and he has taught also at the universities of Connecticut and Michigan in the USA.

Edmund King has published widely in the field of Medieval British History.

His illustrated survey of Medieval England (Phaidon, 1988) was a 'book of the month' choice of the History Guild; new editions have appeared from Tempus Publishing (2001, 2005) and The History Press (2009); and a Japanese translation appeared from Keio University Press in 2006.

Increasingly his specialised research, growing from his teaching, has come to focus on the reign of King Stephen (1135-1154).

The publications cited below include an edited volume of essays on the reign (Oxford University Press, 1994), an edition of one of the main chronicles, the Historia Novella of William of Malmesbury (Oxford Medieval Texts, 1998), and most recently a biography of the king (Yale English Monarchs, 2010).

Research interests

Edmund King is contracted to write a short biography of Henry I in the Penguin Monarchs series. He has a number of papers forthcoming on the career of King Stephen's more able younger brother, Henry, bishop of Winchester. He is also involved in a project to publish the records of Peterborough Abbey (on which he wrote his doctoral thesis), for which he is preparing a new edition of the chronicles written in the monastery.

Professional activities and memberships

Edmund King serves on the Councils of the Lincoln Record Society and the Northamptonshire Record Society.

Previous administrative duties:

Earlier in his career, Edmund King undertook a range of responsibilities within the department and the wider university. He was Head of Department, 1995-6, and 2001-04. He served as an officer both of the Faculty of Arts (Sub-Dean, 1975-79) and of the Faculty of Social Sciences (Deputy Dean and then Dean, 1990-94), and he was President of the university's Year Abroad Office, 1985-88.

Public engagement

Edmund King's main public engagement has been through his work for the Northamptonshire Record Society, first as General Editor (1970-1994) and more recently as a member of the advisory committee of the Anthony Mellows Memorial Trust (administered by the Dean and Chapter of Peterborough). He regularly contributes material of local interest to the Society's annual journal, Northamptonshire Past & Present. He has recently started work on - and hopes to be spared to finish- an edition of the letters and diaries of Joan Wake, the founder of the Society, which is to be published to celebrate its centenary in 2020.