Discovering William of Malmesbury

Discovering William of Malmesbury

Edited by Rodney M. Thomson, Emily Dolmans, Emily A. Winkler


Boydell Press



A fresh look at William of Malmesbury which not only demonstrates his real greatness as a historian and his European vision, but also the breadth of his learning across a number of other disciplines.
In the past William of Malmesbury (1090-1143) has been seen as first and foremost a historian of England, and little else. This volume reveals not only William's real greatness as a historian and his European vision, but also the breadth and depth of his learning across a number of other fields. Areas that receive particular attention are William's historical writings, his historical vision and interpretation of England's past; William and kingship; William's language; William's medical knowledge; the influence of Bede and other ancient writers on William's historiography; William and chronology; William, Anselm of Canterbury and reform of the English Church; William and the Latin Classics; William and the Jews; and William as hagiographer.
Overall, the volume offers a broad coverage of William's learning, wide-ranging interests and significance as revealed in his writings.

Rodney M. Thomson is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at the University of Tasmania; Emily Dolmans is a lecturer in English Literature at Jesus College and Oriel College, University of Oxford; Emily A. Winkler is the John Cowdrey Junior Research Fellow in Medieval History at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, and Departmental Lecturer in Medieval History.

Contributors: Anne E. Bailey, Emily Dolmans, Daniel Gerrard, John Gillingham, Kati Ihnat, Ryan Kemp, William Kynan-Wilson, Anne Lawrence-Mathers, Stanislav Mereminskiy, Samu Niskanen, Joanna Phillips, Alheydis Plassmann, Sigbjørn Sønnesyn, Rodney M. Thomson, Emily Joan Ward, Emily A. Winkler, Michael Winterbottom.


244 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Hardback, 9781783271368, April 2017
eBook, 9781787440869, April 2017
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037010, REL077000
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Table of Contents

Discovering William of Malmesbury: The Man and his Works - Emily Dolmans and Emily A. Winkler
Gesta Pontificum Anglorum: History or Hagiography? - Anne E. Bailey
William of Malmesbury and Civic Virtue - Daniel Gerrard
The Ironies of History: William of Malmesbury's Views of William II and Henry I - John B Gillingham
William of Malmesbury and the Jews - Kati Ihnat
Advising the King: Kingship, Bishops and Saints in the Works of William of Malmesbury - Ryan Kemp
Roman Identity in William of Malmesbury's Historical Writings - William Kynan-Wilson
William of Malmesbury and the Chronological Controversy - Anne Lawrence-Mathers
William of Malmesbury and Durham: the Circulation of Historical Knowledge in Early Twelfth-Century England - Stanislav Mereminskiy
William of Malmesbury as Librarian: the Evidence of his Autographs - Samu Niskanen
William of Malmesbury: Medical Historian of the Crusades - Joanna Phillips
German Emperors as Exemplary Rulers in William of Malmesbury and Otto of Freising - Alheydis Plassmann
Lector amice,: Reading as Friendship in William of Malmesbury - Sigbjorn Olsen Sonnesyn
William of Malmesbury's Historical Vision - R. M. Thomson
'Uerax historicus Beda': William of Malmesbury, Bede and historia - Emily Ward
William of Malmesbury and the Britons - Emily A. Winkler
Words, Words, Words... - Michael Winterbottom
Epilogue: The Rediscovery of William of Malmesbury - R. M. Thomson


The editors of this volume and its contributors deserve significant praise for assembling a collection of thought-provoking chapters, which not only help us to understand better the life and writings of William of Malmesbury, but which should also find relevance within the wider field of Anglo-Norman studies, the study and writing of history during the Middle Ages, and numerous additional topics besides. REVIEWS IN HISTORY

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