Henry of Blois
Title Details

320 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

11 colour, 41 b/w, 8 line illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press

Henry of Blois

New Interpretations

Edited by William Kynan-Wilson and John Munns

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
A richly informed volume that deserves the attention of all scholars interested in this remarkable figure. - SEHEPUNKTE

First modern study devoted to one of the twelfth-century's most enigmatic, influential and fascinating figures.

Henry of Blois (d. 1171) was a towering figure in twelfth-century England. Grandson of William the Conqueror and brother to King Stephen, he played a central role in shaping the course of the civil war that characterized his brother's reign. Bishop of Winchester and abbot of Glastonbury for more than four decades, Henry was one of the richest men in the kingdom, and effectively governed the English Church for a time as Papal Legate. Raised and tonsured at Cluny, he was an intimate friend of Peter the Venerable and later saved the great abbey from financial ruin. Towards the end of his life he presided, albeit reluctantly, over the trial of Thomas Becket. Henry was a remarkable man: an administrator of exceptional talent, a formidable ecclesiastical statesman, a bold and eloquent diplomat, and twelfth-century England's most prolific patron of the arts.

In the first major book-length study of Henry to be published since 1932, nine scholars explore new perspectives on the most crucial aspects of his life and legacy. By bringing ecclesiastical and documentary historians together with archaeologists and historians of art, architecture, literature and ideas, this interdisciplinary collection will serve as a catalyst for renewed study of this fascinating man and the world in which he operated.
List of Illustrations
List of Contributors
Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations
Genealogical Table: The Family Connections of Henry of Blois
Introduction: Approaches to Henry of Blois - John Munns and William Kynan-Wilson
Causa Dei et ecclesie Cluniacensis: Henry of Blois and Cluny - Michael J. Franklin
Henry of Blois and his Legation in England - Barbara Bombi
The Episcopal Colleagues of Henry of Blois - John Munns
The Architectural Heritage of Bishop Henry of Blois at Winchester Cathedral - John Crook
Wolvesey: Henry of Blois' domus quasi palatium in Winchester - Martin Biddle
Bishop Henry's Bible - Claire Donovan
Henry of Blois and the Construction of Roman Identity - William Kynan-Wilson
Henry of Blois: Between Patronage and Representation in the Long Twelfth Century - Matthew M. Mesley
The Last Days of Henry of Blois - Edmund King
Timeline
Bibliography
Index

WILLIAM KYNAN-WILSON is Senior Lecturer in the History of Art, The Open University

John Munns is a Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

"This volume represents a major step forward for the study of a pivotal figure in twelfth-century history. [...] Ultimately, this book is a vital resource for any scholar hoping to better understand Henry of Blois's place in twelfth-century English history, and a step toward a more comprehensive portrait of this elusive figure." COMITATUS
"A richly informed volume that deserves the attention of all scholars interested in this remarkable figure." SEHEPUNKTE
"The editors and contributors should be applauded for bringing together such a diverse and compelling series of articles on a figure surely deserving of further study. This volume stands as a strong testament to the figure at its heart and goes a long way towards filling the gaps in our understanding of Henry of Blois." Craig M. Nakashian, Nottingham Medieval Studies
"There is much to admire and enjoy about this collection. ... Historians have become rather too preoccupied by the question of whether Henry was a great man. By ignoring that debate and probing into particular aspects of his life and career, this book sheds new light not only on an individual but also on the many roles played by leading clerics in twelfth-century Europe." SPECULUM

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9781837650736

June 2023

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9781800100725

February 2021

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9781783275748

February 2021

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Title Details

320 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

11 colour, 41 b/w, 8 line illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press