Francis Young is a UK-based historian and folklorist specialising in the history of religion and belief. He is the author, editor or co-author of 18 books. He is interested in how history illuminates the nature of belief and in the intersections between religion, folklore, magic and other forms of supernatural belief, and writes mainly about Britain, Ireland, and Lithuania. His books have dealt with early modern Catholicism, the history of exorcism, medieval monasticism, folklore, the cult of saints, the history of magic and witchcraft, and Baltic paganism. He is also a professional indexer and a translator specialising in medieval and early modern Latin.
Francis was born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk and studied Philosophy at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and Classics at University of Wales, Lampeter before receiving his doctorate in History from Cambridge University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and was Volumes Editor for the Catholic Record Society between 2015 and 2017. He spent several years as Head of Sixth Form at an English cathedral school, teaches for Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education, and regularly appears on BBC radio and other media. His book Pagans in the Early Modern Baltic was awarded the 2021 Book Subvention Award by the Association for the Advancement of Baltic studies, while three of his books have previously been shortlisted for the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award by the Folklore Society. He is a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Francis is a member of the Folklore Society and the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies. He is a professional member of the Society of Indexers, as well as a Reader in the Church of England.
This site features updates on Francis’s publications, speaking engagements and occasional reviews and other articles.