Margaret Coombe is Lecturer in History at Harris Manchester College and Tutor for Study Skills at Harris Manchester College and Lady Margaret Hall, acting also as occasional Study Skills tutor for a number of other Oxford colleges as and when required, and as Senior Tutor at Harris Manchester during her colleague’s sabbatical terms.
Her research focuses on the religious history of the north of England, especially on Latin manuscripts of saints’ lives produced in the twelfth century in Durham and the subsequent dissemination of the cults of those saints. She teaches British History I (from Romans to Normans) and the History of Northumberland and Durham: Saints and Sanctity from Bede to Reginald. In 2015 she organized a well- attended conference on Northern English Saints, 600-1500 at Lady Margaret Hall in collaboration with colleagues from the departments of English at Warwick and Oxford Universities. She has several research projects in preparation, and her forthcoming publications include Reginald of Durham’s Life of St Godric of Finchale, a text and translation with notes and commentary (with OMT for OUP, due 2017); Northern Saints 600-1500, a multidisciplinary book of papers by leading academics and early career researchers on all aspects of the cult of saints in the north of England (with Brepols, due late 2016); and What a Performance: The Songs of St Godric in the Earliest Manuscripts (in the above book of papers, 2016).
Her Study Skills tutorials are tailored to each individual, covering most disciplines and including such matters as time management, reading skills, essay writing, how to argue your point, tutorial essays, answering the question, note-taking, revision and planning. In 2014 she was awarded the student-led OUSU teaching award for her work in this field.
Prior to joining Harris Manchester College, Margaret had a varied professional and academic career. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser and worked for major accounting and commercial firms in The City of London. Following the births of her children, she left the City and started a pre-prep school in South East London, which today has over 250 pupils and has been pronounced ‘outstanding’ by OfSted. She is a firm believer in lifelong learning, and has been trained and is experienced in teaching adults at all levels of achievement: she has taught public evening classes in London, lectured widely to other accounting professionals, trained field staff at commercial firms, lectured to staff and parents at the school, and offered papers at numerous seminars and conferences in London, Leeds, Reading and Oxford. Her own academic qualifications are wide-ranging, covering a first degree at Oxford University in History and French, a postgraduate diploma in Art History at the Courtauld Institute in London, an MA in Classics at King’s College London and a DPhil in History from Oxford University. She was granted a three-year PostDoc fellowship in History at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, 2011-2014 and came to Harris Manchester in Michaelmas, 2014.