The Peterborough Version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

March 2015
196 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Anglo-Saxon Studies
ISBN: 9781783270019
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037010, HIS015000

The Peterborough Version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

Rewriting Post-Conquest History

Malasree Home

An examination of the linguistic and cultural construction of one of the texts of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
In the twelfth century, a version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was rewritten at Peterborough Abbey, welding local history into an established framework of national events. This text has usually been regarded as an exception, a vernacular Chronicle written in a period dominated by Latin histories. This study, however, breaks new ground by considering the Peterborough Chronicle as much more than just an example of the accidental longevity of the Chronicle tradition. Close analysis reveals unique interpretations of events, and a very strong sense of communal identity, suggesting that the construction of this text was not a marginal activity, but one essential to the articulation of the abbey's image. This text also participates in a vibrant post-Conquest textual culture, in particular at Canterbury, including the writing of the bilingual F version of the Chronicle; its symbiotic relationship with a wider corpus of Latin historiography thus indicates the presence of shared sources. The incorporation of alternative generic types in the text also suggests the presence of formal hybridity, a further testament to a fluid and adaptable textual culture.

Dr Malasree Home teaches at Newcastle University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The text, the world, and Peterborough abbey
Textualizing the past
Continuing the Chronicle
Making the Chronicle: form, genre, identity
Beyond the Chronicle: the perspective of house history


Home's work places the Peterborough Chronicle "at the forefront of the development of hybrid historiographical forms," and helps highlight the importance of that hybrid stage in the development of medieval English historiography (171). COMITATUS

A refreshing and challenging study which ably demonstrates the benefits to be had from a detailed study of the individuality of the surviving witnesses to the ASC. REVIEW OF ENGLISH STUDIES

This finely-researched and well-argued study not only represents a new departure in Chronicle studies, but also makes a deep impact on that neglected and unglamorous realm of text production in the 150 years after the Conquest. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW

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