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Anglo-Norman Studies 31

Anglo-Norman Studies 31: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 2008

Edited by C. P. Lewis
Volume: 31
Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 224
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt81gv2
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  • Book Info
    Anglo-Norman Studies 31
    Book Description:

    The contemporary historians of Anglo-Norman England form a particular focus of this issue. There are contributions on Henry of Huntingdon's representation of civil war; on the political intent of the poems in the anonymous Life of Edward the Confessor; on William of Malmesbury's depiction of Henry I; and on the influence upon historians of the late antique history attributed to Hegesippus. A paper on Gerald of Wales and Merlin brings valuable literary insights to bear. Other pieces tackle religious history [northern monasteries during the Anarchy, the abbey of Tiron] and politics [family history across the Conquest, the Norman brothers Urse de Abetot and Robert Dispenser, the friendship network of King Stephen's family]. The volume begins with Judith Green's Allen Brown Memorial Lecture, which provides a wide-ranging account of kingship, lordsihp and community in eleventh-century England. CONTRIBUTORS: Judith Green, Janet Burton, Catherine A. M. Clarke, Sebastien Danielo, Emma Mason, Ad Putter, Kathleen Thompson, Jean A. Truax, Elizabeth M. Tyler, Björn Weiler, Neil Wright.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-690-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS, MAPS, AND TABLES
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. EDITOR’S PREFACE
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Chris Lewis
  5. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. ix-xii)
  6. KINGSHIP, LORDSHIP, AND COMMUNITY IN ELEVENTH-CENTURY ENGLAND R. Allen Brown Memorial Lecture
    (pp. 1-16)
    Judith Green

    It was with great pleasure that I accepted the Director’s kind invitation to give the annual Allen Brown Lecture on this, the thirty-first anniversary of the foundation of the Battle Conference on Anglo-Norman Studies.¹ In so doing I can pay tribute to Allen’s commitment to teaching, which set me on my first steps to becoming a medievalist. It is very hard now to recall the essence of his lectures to undergraduates at King’s College, London. However, I have a memory of Allen’s arrival on one occasion in a cloak and a sword, to lecture on medieval England, with an engagement...

  7. CITADELS OF GOD: MONASTERIES, VIOLENCE, AND THE STRUGGLE FOR POWER IN NORTHERN ENGLAND, 1135–1154
    (pp. 17-30)
    Janet Burton

    There were some monastic writers who saw that times of warfare might benefit their order. In describing Ailred’s brief but formative period as abbot of Revesby (1143–47), Walter Daniel noted how the prevailing lack of law and order worked to the advantage of the new house. Commenting on grants of land offered to, and received by, the abbot he stated:

    he [Ailred] had realised that in this unsettled time such gifts profited knights and monks alike, for in those days it was hard for any to lead the good life unless they were monks or members of some religious...

  8. WRITING CIVIL WAR IN HENRY OF HUNTINGDON’S HISTORIA ANGLORUM
    (pp. 31-48)
    Catherine A. M. Clarke

    The publicity poster for Guillermo del Toro’s 2006 film Laberinto del Fauno or Pan’s Labyrinth centres on the image of a huge dead tree trunk, split in two, which, as we later learn in the film, is the gateway to a deep cleft in the earth — a dark and strange underground world.¹ Set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War, del Toro’s film is permeated with images of ruptured earth, splits in the ground, the land literally tearing itself apart to reveal dark and disturbing phenomena within. Whilst the film does include direct representations of violence and atrocity, del...

  9. LAND, FAMILY, AND DEPREDATION: THE CASE OF ST BENET OF HOLME’S MANOR OF LITTLE MELTON
    (pp. 49-63)
    Sébastien Danielo

    The effect of Norman lordship on English landholding at the local level is a well established theme in the historiography of the Norman Conquest.¹ In recent years historians have tended to argue for elements of continuity across the Conquest, a notable example being David Bates’s paper at the Spoleto Conference about the ‘feudal revolution’.² It is now clearer than ever that the Normans arrived in a country which was already changing. Their role in speeding and directing change should not be underestimated, but, equally, the Normans should not be seen merely as predators, depriving native society as a whole of...

  10. BROTHERS AT COURT: URSE DE ABETOT AND ROBERT DISPENSER
    (pp. 64-89)
    Emma Mason

    The vilification of Urse de Abetot by the leading monastic writers of the Anglo-Norman period needs no introduction, but while this evaluation of his career and that of his brother Robert enlarges on their misdeeds in some areas, it also introduces some extenuating circumstances in others.¹

    Ralph de Tancarville, the first in a line of hereditary chamberlains of Normandy, already held this office during the reign of Duke Robert I, and continued to serve down to his death in 1079. Following the Norman Conquest, control over both the royal and ducal revenues was centralized in the camera, under the continuing...

  11. GERALD OF WALES AND THE PROPHET MERLIN
    (pp. 90-103)
    Ad Putter

    My subject is the remarkable role of the prophet Merlin in English politics from Henry II through to King John, as evidenced by the writer who outlived them both, Gerald of Wales.¹ Gerald was born in 1146, just a few years after the publication of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain; he died in 1223, after a long retirement from a busy but ultimately disappointing life: he had been a student and master in Paris, a courtier and diplomat in the service of Henry II and his successor Richard, an archdeacon of Brecon, but his dream of...

  12. THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS OF THE ABBEY OF TIRON: INSTITUTIONALIZING THE REFORM OF THE FOREST HERMITS
    (pp. 104-117)
    Kathleen Thompson

    In a memorable section in his Monastic Order in England Dom David Knowles describes the ‘ferment of new life’ that was emerging in the western Church of the eleventh and twelfth centuries and reinvigorating the monastic tradition.¹ The ‘new monasticism’ took as its inspiration the poverty of the early Church. Dissatisfied with monastic observance as it was practised in the years after 1000, inspirational leaders abandoned the structured life of their communities, which was often encumbered by the administration of endowments and obligations to lordly patrons, in search of a more contemplative approach. In western France those leaders took to...

  13. ALL ROADS LEAD TO CHARTRES: THE HOUSE OF BLOIS, THE PAPACY, AND THE ANGLO-NORMAN SUCCESSION OF 1135
    (pp. 118-134)
    Jean A. Truax

    When Henry I died unexpectedly at Lyons-la-Forêt in 1135, Stephen of Blois dashed across the English Channel, gained control of the royal treasury, and had himself crowned king of England by the archbishop of Canterbury in Westminster abbey on 22 December.¹ All this he was able to do despite the fact that Archbishop William of Corbeil and the other lay and ecclesiastical magnates of the realm, including Stephen himself, had sworn solemn oaths to uphold the succession of Henry’s daughter, the Empress Matilda.² Even more remarkably, Stephen obtained almost immediate confirmation of his accession from Pope Innocent II, a confirmation...

  14. THE VITA ÆDWARDI: THE POLITICS OF POETRY AT WILTON ABBEY
    (pp. 135-156)
    Elizabeth M. Tyler

    The eleventh century has traditionally been constructed as a fallow period for English literary culture. The end of the tenth century and the very beginning of the eleventh century saw the monastic learning of the Benedictine Reform and a vibrant tradition of vernacular homiletic prose (Ælfric and Wulfstan). The eleventh century was followed by the explosion of historical and fictional writing in both Latin and French which characterizes the ‘renaissance’ of learning and culture in the Anglo-Norman realm. England, once on the periphery of Europe, is seen to have been brought into this ‘renaissance’ as a result of the Conquest....

  15. WILLIAM OF MALMESBURY, KING HENRY I, AND THE GESTA REGUM ANGLORUM
    (pp. 157-176)
    Björn Weiler

    This paper deals with the portrayal of King Henry I in William of Malmesbury’s Gesta Regum Anglorum.¹ While this may, at first, seem a somewhat narrowly defined topic for discussion, it does in fact allow for a series of more wide-ranging questions to be asked. It is on three of these that I would like to focus: how modern readers may approach the oeuvre of this particular chronicler; what the image of King Henry may tell us about how one of the — already among his contemporaries — most widely read and most highly regarded historians of the Central Middle Ages defined...

  16. TWELFTH-CENTURY RECEPTIONS OF A TEXT: ANGLO-NORMAN HISTORIANS AND HEGESIPPUS
    (pp. 177-196)
    Neil Wright

    Under the name Hegesippus there has come down to us a Latin translation of Josephus’ Jewish War in five books, probably made in the later fourth century.¹ The precise identity of its author remains unclear. From Late Antiquity onwards the translation was variously but falsely attributed to Jerome, Rufinus, or St Ambrose of Milan, but it is more probably the work of a Jewish convert.² Although Hegesippus’ History usually receives scant attention today, the work had much to recommend it to readers in the Middle Ages. First it is closely allied to the Bible narrative, relating the events which led...

  17. LIST OF CONTENTS OF VOLUMES 1–30
    (pp. 197-208)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 209-209)