Dame Janet Nelson
Janet Laughland Muir
28 March 1942
Blackpool, Lancashire, England
|Other names||Jinty Nelson|
|Alma mater||Newnham College, Cambridge|
|Thesis||Rituals of Royal Inauguration in Early Medieval Europe (1967)|
|Doctoral advisor||Walter Ullmann|
|Institutions||King's College, London|
|Main interests||Medieval kingship|
Dame Janet Laughland Nelson DBE FRHistS FBA (born 1942), also known as Jinty Nelson, is a British historian. She is Emerita Professor of Medieval History at King's College London.
Born on 28 March 1942 in Blackpool, Nelson was educated at Keswick School, Cumbria, and at Newnham College, Cambridge, where she received her BA degree in 1964 and her PhD degree in 1967.
She was appointed a lecturer at King's College, London, in 1970, promoted to Reader in 1987, to Professor in 1993, and Director of the Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies in 1994, retiring in 2007. She was President of the Ecclesiastical History Society (1993–94) and was a Vice-President of the British Academy (2000–01). In 2013 she gave the British Academy's Raleigh Lecture on History. She was the first female President of the Royal Historical Society (2000–04). The Jinty Nelson Award for Inspirational Teaching & Supervision in History was established by the Royal Historical Society in January 2018.
Her research to date has been focused on early medieval Europe, including Anglo-Saxon England. She has published widely on kingship, government, political ideas, religion and ritual, and increasingly on women and gender during this period. From 2000 to 2010 she co-directed, with Simon Keynes (of Cambridge University), the AHRC-funded project Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England. Her book King and Emperor, a biography of Charlemagne, was published in 2019.
Nelson was appointed a DBE in 2006 and holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of East Anglia (2004), St Andrews (2007), Queen's University Belfast (2009), York (2010), Liverpool (2010) and Nottingham (2010).
Nelson has also appeared on BBC television and radio, notably as an expert on the Anglo-Saxon Kings in Michael Wood's 2013 series on the subject.