Domesday Now

June 2018
12 black and white illustrations
352 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037010, HIS015000

Domesday Now

New Approaches to the Inquest and the Book

Edited by David Roffe, K.S.B. Keats-Rohan

Essays into numerous aspects of the Domesday Book, shedding fresh light on its mysteries.
Compiled from the records of a survey of the kingdom of England commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1085, Domesday Book is a key source for the history of England. However, there has never been a critical edition of the text and so, despite over 200 years of intense academic study, its evidence has rarely been exploited to the full. The essays in this volume seek to realize the potential of Domesday Book by focussing on the manuscript itself. There are analyses of abbreviations, letter forms, and language; re-assessments of key sources, the role of tenants-in-chief in producing them, and the nature of the Norman settlement that their forms illuminate; a re-evaluation of the data and its referents; and finally, fresh examinations of the afterlife of the Domesday text and how it was subsequently perceived.
In identifying new categories of evidence and revisiting old ones, these studies point to a better understanding of the text. There are surprising insights into its sources and developing programme and, intriguingly, a system of encoding hitherto unsuspected. In its turn the import of its data becomes clearer, thereby shedding new light on Anglo-Norman society and governance. It is in these terms that this volume offers a departure in Domesday studies and looks forward to the resolution of long-standing problems that have hitherto bedevilled the interpretation of an iconic text.

David Roffe and K.S.B. Keats-Rohan are leading Domesday scholars who have published widely on Domesday Book and related matters.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781782047384), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.

Table of Contents

Introduction - David Roffe
Domesday Now: a View from the Stage - David Roffe
A Digital Latin Domesday - J J N Palmer
McLuhan Meets the Master: Scribal Devices in Great Domesday Book - David Roffe
Non Pascua sed Pastura: the Changing Choice of Terms in Domesday - Frank Thorn
Domesday Books? Little Domesday Book Reconsidered - Ian Taylor
Hunting the Snark and Finding the Boojum: the Tenurial Revolution Revisited - Ann Williams
A Question of Identity: Domesday Prosopography and the Formation of the Honour of Richmond - K. S. B Keats-Rohan
The Episcopal Returns in Domesday - Pamela Taylor
Geospatial Technologies and the Geography of Domesday England in the Twenty-First Century - Andrew Lowerre
Condensing and Abbreviating the Data: Evesham C, Evesham M, and the Breviate - Howard B. Clarke
'A Deed without a Name' - Sally Harvey
Talking to Others and Talking to Itself: Government and the Changing Role of the Records of the Domesday Inquest - David Roffe


Despite the unabated interest in, and studies of, the Domesday inquest and the documents that resulted from it, there remains a lack of scholarly agreement on the purpose for either the inquest or the texts. The contributors to Domesday Now have come to the consensus that the way forward is through a new critical edition of Domesday. Their essays in this volume present new categories of evidence that lay the scholarly foundation for that new edition. . . . Indeed, the variety of essays in Domesday Now demonstrates the potential for work with the aid of such an edition, and points to riches yet to be discovered. COMITATUS

Also by Author