Above and beyond. Essays in memory of Leo Swan
Edited by Christiaan Corlett and Tom Condit
Published in 2005, 511pp, hardback, illustrated
Published by Wordwell Ltd
This book originates from the desire of what might be termed the middle generation of archaeologists to pay tribute to Leo Swan on hearing of his being stricken with a renewal of illness in autumn 2000. Sadly, this book did not materialise in Leo’s lifetime. Leo died on 5 March 2001. He knew that the book was planned but would have dismissed it, not least because, typically, he would have felt unworthy, and, of course, its existence would have been a painfully close reminder of his and everyone else’s mortality, a difficult prospect for someone who loved life so much. So instead of being a festschrift for a much-loved colleague from his friends and admirers, it appeared as a memorial volume. Most of the essays were penned in celebration of Leo’s contribution to archaeology and early medieval history, and that remains the prevailing tone, though now also with the respectful addition of our gratitude for his life and work. Leo Swan will long be remembered as a generous personality, a pioneering archaeologist and an encouraging teacher. He was also an airman whose energy, personality and humour illuminated whatever lecture theatre, classroom or social gathering he graced, always leaving those he encountered enriched, entertained and invariably the better for having met a really great character.