Biography is one of the oldest, most popular and most tenacious of literary forms. Perhaps the best attested narrative form of the Middle Ages, it continues to draw modern historians of the medieval period to its peculiar challenge to explicate the general through the particular: the biographer's decisions to impose or to resist the imposition of order on biographical remnants raise issues which go to the heart of historical method. This collection, compiled in honour of a distinguished modern exponent of the art of biography, contains sixteen essays by leading scholars which examine the limits and possibilities of the genre for the period between 750AD and 1250AD. Ranging from pivotal figures such as Charlemagne, William the Conqueror and St Bernard, to the anonymous female skeleton in an Anglo-Saxon grave, from kings and queens to clerks and saints, and from individual to the collective biographies, this collection investigates both medieval biographical writings, and the issues surrounding the writing of medieval lives. Professor DAVID BATES is Director of the Institute of Historical Research; Dr JULIA CRICK and Dr SARAH HAMILTON teach in the Department of History at the University of Exeter. Contributors: JANET L. NELSON, ROBIN FLEMING, BARBARA YORKE, RICHARD ABELS, SIMON KEYNES, PAULINE STAFFORD, ELISABETH VAN HOUTS, DAVID BATES, JANE MARTINDALE, CHRISTOPHER HOLDSWORTH, LINDY GRANT, MARJORIE CHIBNALL, EDMUND KING, JOHN GILLINGHAM, DAVID CROUCH, NICHOLAS VINCENT.
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