Medievalist who has published widely over the past twenty years, most recently on a new interpretation of the Bayeux Tapestry. A major inquiry into the Continental Origins of English Landholders 1066-1166 led to a substantial reference work, Domesday People, Domesday Descendants: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents 1066-1166 2 vols (1999, 2002). This work built upon research interests in north-west France, which include studies of Brittany, Maine and the abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, from the tenth to the thirteenth century. Closely associated with prosopography as a historical method, she and Christian Settipani established Prosopographica et Genealogica as an imprint of the Unit for Prosopographical Research, Linacre College, in 2000.
Prosopography examines the whole of a past society, its structure and the individuals who made it up, in order to trace the evolution of the social and cultural perception of nationhood embraced by persons lived within defined regions, perhaps separated from others by language and law and perhaps not, but whose chief claim to distinctiveness reposed in the recognition of the legitimacy of their ruler, who was not necessarily born in the region and who usually married outside it.