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The History of England From the Norman Conquest to the Death of John
Appendix On Authorities 1066-1216
by Adams, George Burton


While the material on which the history of any period of the Middle Ages is based is scanty as compared with the abundant supply at the service of the writer of modern history, the number of the original sources for the Norman and early Angevin period is so great as to render impossible any attempt to characterize them all in this place. The more important or more typical chroniclers have been selected to give an idea of the nature of the material on which the narrative rests.

The medieval chronicler did not content himself with writing the history of his own time. He was usually ambitious to write a general history from the beginning of the world or from the Christian era at least, and in comparatively few cases began with the origin of his own land. For a knowledge of times before his own he had to depend on his predecessors in the same line, and often for long periods together the new book would be only an exact copy or a condensation of an older one. If several earlier writers were at hand, the new text might be a composite one, resting on them all, but really adding nothing to our knowledge. As the writer drew nearer to his own time, local tradition or the documents preserved in his monastery might give him information on new points or fuller information on others. On such matters his narrative becomes an independent authority of more or less value, and much that is important has been preserved to us in such additions to the earlier sources. Sometimes for a longer or shorter period before his own day the writer may be using materials all of which have been lost to us, and in such a case he is for our purposes an original and independent authority, although in reality he is not strictly original. Then follows a period, sometimes a long one, sometimes only a very few years, in which his narrative is contemporary and written from his own knowledge or from strictly first-hand materials. This is usually the most valuable portion for the modern writer of history.

A large mass of material of great value cannot be described here. It is made up of records primarily of value for constitutional history, charters, writs, laws, and documentary material of all kinds, from which often new facts are obtained for narrative history or light of great value thrown on doubtful points, especially of chronology or of the history of individuals. Of such a kind are the various monastic cartularies, law-books like Glanvill's, records like the Patent, Close, and Charter Rolls, collections of letters, and modern collections of documents like T. Rymer's Foedera or J.H. Round's Calendar of Documents Preserved in France.

The Saxon Chronicle (with translation by B. Thorpe in the Rolls Series (1861), or C. Plummer's Two Saxon Chronicles, 1892-99) continues during the first part of this period with its earlier characteristics unchanged, though more full than for all but the last of the preceding age. The Conquest had no effect on its language, and it continued to be written in English until the end. The Worcester chronicle closes with the year 1079, while the Peterborough book goes on to the coronation of Henry II in 1154. Practically a contemporary record for the whole period, though not preserved to us in a strictly contemporary form throughout, it is of especial value for the indications it gives of the feelings of the English at a time when they were not often recorded.

William, called of Poitiers, though a Norman, chaplain of William I and Archdeacon of Lisieux, wrote a biography of the king, Gesta Willelmi Duels Normannorum et Regis Anglice (in Migne's Patrologia Latina,149), of much value for the period immediately following the Conquest. It has been thought that he was not present at the battle of Hastings, but the account of William's movements between the battle and his coronation contains several indications of first--hand knowledge, matters of detail likely to be noted by an eye--witness; and though he was a strong partisan and panegyrist of the king, his statements of what happened may generally be accepted. His comments and opinions, however, must be used with the greatest caution. His work originally ended in 1071, but the last part is now wanting, and it ends abruptly in the spring of 1067. The entire book was used, however, by Orderic Vitalis as one of the chief sources of his narrative, and in that form we probably have all the main facts it contained.

William of Malmesbury, born probably between 1090 and 1096, devoted himself from early life to the study of history, seemingly attracted to it, as he tells us himself, by the pleasure which the record of the past gave him and by its ethical value as a collection of practical examples of virtues and vices. This confession gives the key to the character of his work. He prided himself on his Latin style, and with some justice. He regarded himself not as a mere chronicler, but as a historian of a higher rank, the disciple and first continuator of Bede. The accurate telling of facts in their chronological order was to him less important than a well-written and philosophical account of events selected for their importance or interest and narrated in such a way as to bring out the character of the actors or the meaning of the history. That he succeeded in these objects cannot be questioned. His work is of a higher literary and philosophical character than any written since his master Bede, or for some time after himself. On this account, however, it gives less direct information as to the events of the time in which he lived than we could wish, though it is a contemporary authority of considerable value on the reign of Henry I, and of even more value on the first years of Stephen.

His political history is contained in two works, the Gesta Regum, which closes with the year 1128, and the Historia Novella, which continues the narrative to December, 1142 (W. Stubbs, Rolls Series, 1887-89). A third work, the Gesta Pontificum (N.E.S.A. Hamilton, Rolls Series, 1870), also contains some notices of value for the political history. William boasted a friendship with Robert, Earl of Gloucester, who was his patron, and his sympathies were with the Empress's party in the civil war, but he had also personal relations with Roger of Salisbury and Henry of Winchester, and was no blind partisan.

EADMER, a monk of Canterbury, stands with William of Malmesbury in the forefront of the historians of the twelfth century. His work, less pretentious than William's, is simpler and more straightforward. Eadmer was of Saxon birth and was brought up from childhood in Christ Church, Canterbury. Affectionately attached to Anselm from an early time, he became his chaplain on his appointment as archbishop and was with him almost constantly in his visits to court, in his troubled dealings with his sovereigns, and in his exile abroad. With Anselm's successor, Archbishop Ralph, he stood in equally close relations, and he was honoured and respected in the ecclesiastical world of his time. He writes throughout the greater part of his history, calmly and soberly, of the things that he had seen and in which he had taken part. His chief work, the Historia Novorum (M. Rule, Rolls Series, 1884), begins with the Conquest, but his main interest before the days of Anselm is in the personality and doings of Lanfranc. In the more detailed portion of his work his point of view is always the ecclesiastical. This is the interest which he desires to set forth most fully, but the policy of the Church involved itself so closely in his day with that of the State that the history of the one is almost of necessity that of the other, and in the Historia Novarum we have a contemporary history of English affairs, as they came into touch with the Church, of the greatest value from the accession of Henry I to 1121, and one which preserves a larger proportion of the important formal documents of the time than was usual with twelfth century historians. He wrote also in the latter part of this period a Vita Anselmi in which the religious was even more the leading interest than in his history, but it adds something to our knowledge of the time.

One of the best authorities for the period from the Conquest to 1141 is the Historia Ecclesiastica of ORDERIC VITALIS (A. le Prevost, Societe de l'Histoire de France, 1838-55). Born in England in 1075, of a Norman father, a clerk, and an English mother, he was sent by his father at the age of ten to the monastery of St. Evroul, and there he spent his life. The atmosphere in this monastery was favourable to study. It had an extensive library, and Orderic had at his command good sources of information, though he himself took no part in the events he describes. He paid some visits to England in which he obtained information, and as he always looked upon himself as an Englishman, his history naturally includes England as well as Normandy. He began to write about 1123, and from that date on he may be regarded as a contemporary authority, but from the Conquest the book has in many places the value of an original account. It is an exasperating book to use because of the extreme confusion in which the facts are arranged, or left without arrangement, the account of a single incident being often in two widely separated places. But the book rises much above the level of mere annals, and while perhaps not reaching that of the philosophical historian, gives the reader more of the feeling that a living man is writing about living men than is usual in medieval books. It reveals in the writer a lively imagination, which, while it does not affect the historical value of the narrative, gives it a pictorial setting. Orderic's interest in the minuter details of life and in the personality of the men of his time imparts a strong human element to the book; nor is the least useful feature of the work the writer's critical judgment on men and events, generally on moral grounds, but often assisting our knowledge of character and the causes of events.

HENRY, ARCHDEACON OF HUNTINGDON's Historia Anglorum (T. Arnold, Rolls Series, 1879) becomes original, to our present knowledge at least, with the closing of the manuscript of the Saxon chronicle which he had been following, probably in 1121, and his narrative is contemporary from the last years of that decade to the coronation of Henry II. He adds, however, surprisingly little to our knowledge of the twenty-five years during which he was writing the history of his own time. He had an active imagination and loved to embellish the facts which he had learned with little details that he thought likely to be true. The main value of the original portion of his history lies in its confirmation of what we learn from other sources.

The chronicle of FLORENCE OF WORCESTER (B. Thorpe, Engl. Hist. Soc., 1848-49) is continued by John of Worcester as a source of primary importance to 1141 and by others afterwards. Florence himself died in 1118, but at what point before this his own work breaks off it does not seem possible to determine. There is at no point any real change in the character of the chronicle. The continental chronicle which Florence had been using as the groundwork of his account, that of Marianus Scotus, ends with 1082, but his manuscript of the Saxon chronicle probably went on for some distance further, and about the time of Florence's death much use is made of Eadmer. The account is annalistic throughout, even in the full treatment of Stephen's reign; but in its original portions, or what seem to us original, it has the value of a contemporary record, giving us further insight into the feelings of the English in William's reign and the feelings and sufferings of the people of the south-west in Stephen's time.

An interesting chronicle of Stephen's reign is that by an unknown author known as the Gesta Stephani (R. Hewlett, Rolls Series, Chronicles of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I, iii, 1866), which existed at the beginning of the seventeenth century in a single manuscript since lost. It has been conjectured with some probability that it was written by a chaplain of the king's brother, Henry, Bishop of Winchester. Certainly the author had very good sources of information, writes often from personal knowledge, and though a strong partisan of Stephen's, is not blind to his weaknesses and faults. While the first part of the narrative was not written precisely at the date, the work has all the value of a contemporary account from 1135, and from 1142 to 1147 it is almost our only authority. The manuscript from which it was first printed in 1619 had been injured, and the book as it now exists breaks off in the middle of a sentence in 1147.

ROBERT OF TORIGNI (R. Hewlett, Rolls Series. Chronicles of Stephen, etc., iv, 1889) spent his life as a monk in Normandy, in the abbey of Bec till 1154 and afterwards as abbot of the monastery of Mont Saint Michel. He made apparently but two visits to England, of which we know no particulars, but as a monk of Normandy, living in two of its most famous monasteries, he was interested in the doings of the English kings, particularly in their continental policy, and more especially in the deeds of the two great Henries. He began to write as a young man, and by 1139, about the time he reached the age of thirty, he seems to have completed his account of the reign of Henry I, which he wrote as an additional, an eighth? book to the History of the Normans of William of Jumieges. His more extended chronicle he had begun before leaving Bec, and he carried the work with him to Mont-Saint-Michel. Down to 1100 this is the chronicle of Sigebert of Gemblours with additions, and it becomes a wholly original chronicle only with 1147. Though of great value for the knowledge of facts, especially between 1154 and 1170, the chronicle never rises above the character of annals and was carelessly constructed, especially as to chronology; it was perhaps worked up by monks of his house from a somewhat rough first draft of memoranda by the abbot. The book closes at the end of 1185, shortly before the death of Robert.

The writer of the twelfth century who comes the nearest to looking upon the task of the historian as a modern writer would is WILLIAM OF NEWBURGH (R. Hewlett, Rolls Series, Chronicles of Stephen, etc., i, and ii, 1884-85). His purpose is not merely to record what happened, with a rather clear conception of the duty of the historian to be accurate and to use the best sources, but to make a selection of the facts, using the more important and those that will show the drift and meaning of the age, and combining them into something like an explanatory account of the period; and this he does with constant critical judgment of men and measures and great breadth of historical view. His Historia Rerum Anglicarum, which may be said to begin with the reign of Stephen, after a brief introduction on the three preceding reigns, appears to have been composed as a whole within two or three years at the close of the twelfth century. The probability is that no part of it is original, in the sense that it was written solely from first-hand knowledge; but the sources from which he derived his material for the period from 1154 to 1173, and at later dates, have not come down to us, and he must have drawn from some personal knowledge in the last portion of his work. It is throughout, however, a critical commentary of great value on the history, and an interpretation of it by a man of clear, impartial, and broad judgment, and one not too far removed from the time of which he wrote to be out of sympathy with it.

For the last half of the reign of Henry II we have the advantage of a valuable and in some respects very interesting and attractive chronicle. This is the Gesta Regis Henrici Secundi, associated with the name of BENEDICT OF PETERBOROUGH (Rolls Series, 2 vols.). Benedict, however, was not the author, and no certain evidence as to who he was can be derived from any source, nor does the chronicle itself supply many of those incidental indications from which it is often possible to learn much regarding the author of an anonymous book. The tentative suggestion of Bishop Stubbs that it may have been written by Richard Fitz Neal, the author of the Dialogus de Scaccario, is now generally regarded as inadmissible. The work begins in 1170, and from a date a year or two later is evidently contemporaneous to its close in 1192, with perhaps a slight interruption at 1177. It is written in a simple and straightforward way, and with a sure touch, unusual accuracy of statement, and a clear understanding of constitutional details; it suggests an interesting personality in its author, with whom we constantly desire a closer acquaintance. Whoever he was, he possessed good sources of information, though apparently too great consideration for king or court keeps him sometimes from saying all he knows or believes, and he has inserted in his work many letters and important documents.

The work known by the name of Benedict was taken up into his own and carried forward to 1201 by an almost equally important chronicler, ROGER OF HOWDEN (W. Stubbs, Rolls Series, 1868-71). The writer was a northerner who began his history with 732, using for all the first part of it northern historians, with some slight additions between 1149 and 1169. From 1170 he copies nearly all the Gesta Regis Henrici, adding to it occasionally original information and some documents, but the knowledge of value which we derive from his additions is disappointingly small considering that he held official positions under the king and was employed by him on various missions. From 1192 to its close the work is an original and contemporary history, carefully written and of great value, and containing an even larger proportion of documents than Benedict. The chronicle excites less interest in the personality of its author than does its predecessor; is of a somewhat more solemn type, and shows more plainly the traits of the ordinary ecclesiastical writer in its sympathy with current superstitions and its frequent moralizing.

RALPH DE DICETO, Dean of St. Paul's during the last ten years of Henry II's reign and the whole of Richard's, began soon after he became dean a chronicle which he called Imagines Historiarum, or Outlines of History (W. Stubbs, Rolls Series, 1876). It begins with 1148, to which date he had brought down an abstract of earlier chronicles from the creation. To about 1183 the work is based on the writings of others, but from 1162 it becomes more full and contains much that is original in form at least. From 1183 to its close in 1202 it is a contemporary account of the highest value, especially for the reign of Richard. Ralph stood in close relations with Richard Fitz Neal, from 1189 Bishop of London, for forty years treasurer of the kingdom, and himself the author of historical books, and with William Longchamp King Richard's representative. From his official position also he possessed unusually good opportunities of information and means of forming those judgments on affairs which are a feature of his chronicle. He has embodied many important documents in his narrative though sometimes not with the true historian's feeling of the importance of the exact language in such cases. His statements of fact and of opinion both greatly aid our understanding of his times, and his writing has, like Benedict of Peterborough, a straightforward air which itself carries weight.

While the more important chroniclers were writing the secular history of the reigns of Henry II and Richard I, a monk of Christ Church, Canterbury, of the name of GERVASE (W. Stubbs, Rolls Series, 1879-80), was also writing a chronicle in which he was chiefly interested to preserve the history of the troubles and ecclesiastical controversies of his house and of the archbishopric. Incidentally, however, he gives us some information concerning political events and considerable confirmatory evidence. He began writing about 1188, and his principal chronicle becomes contemporary soon after that date. It exactly covers a century, opening with the accession of Henry I and closing with the death of Richard I. A minor chronicle, entitled Gesta Regum, begun after the close of the other, starts with the mythical Brutus, the Trojan who gave his name to Britain, and comes rapidly down to the accession of John, abridging earlier works. For the reign of John it is a contemporary chronicle, not very full, but of real value. Gervase writes always as a monk, and even more narrowly, as a monk of Canterbury, influenced by the feelings of his order and monastery. His attitude towards the kings under whom he writes is unsympathetic, and his interest in political matters is always very slight, but his references to them are not on that account without a value of their own.

RALPH, abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Coggeshall from 1207 to 1218, when he resigned because of illness, wrote a Chronicon Anglicanum (J. Stevenson, Rolls Series, 1875), which extends from 1066 to 1223. To 1186 the entries are brief annals: with 1187 the history becomes more full, but the writer's interest is chiefly in the crusade, of which important and interesting accounts are given from excellent sources; and comparatively little is recorded concerning the history of England proper before the accession of John. For the reign of John the book is one of our most important and trustworthy contemporary sources. Ralph was greatly interested in mythical tales, especially in wonderful occurrences in nature, and he records these at length as he heard of them, but this habit does not affect the character of his historical record proper. As a historian he is very well informed, though he gives but few documents; he saw clearly the essential point of things and had a sense of accuracy.

A compilation from earlier historical works made, in the form in which we have it, at the end of the thirteenth or the beginning of the fourteenth century and known by the name of WALTER OF COVENTRY (W. Stubbs, Rolls Series, 1872-73), has preserved a continuation of Roger of Howden which is of great value. This is a chronicle of John's reign and the early years of Henry III, from 1202 to 1226, probably written in the monastery of Barnwell about the time the narrative closes, and original and practically contemporary at least from 1212. From 1202 to 1208 the entries are brief and annalistic, with occasionally a suggestive comment. With 1209 the notices begin to be longer, and with 1212 they form a detailed narrative. The writer has a better opinion of John, at least of his ability, than other chroniclers of the time, does not attribute his misfortunes to the king's faults, and has little sympathy with the cause of the barons. He is accurate in his statements, clear in his narrative, and shows a tendency to reflect on the causes and relations of the leading facts.

Besides these, most important of the primary authorities, there are a number of others of hardly less value. SIMEON OF DURHAM's Historia Regum (T. Arnold, Rolls Series, 1882-85) becomes an independent chronicle from 1119 to 1129 and is continued by JOHN OF HEXHAM (ed. with Simeon of Durham) to 1154 in a narrative not contemporary, but in many places original, while RICHARD OF HEXHAM (Chronicles of Stephen, etc., iii), perhaps John's predecessor as prior, wrote a contemporary history covering the time from the death of Henry I to early in 1139. All these are of especial value for the affairs of northern England. About the same time Master GEOFFREY GAIMAR, the Trouvère, wrote a chronicle in French verse which is mainly a translation from the Saxon chronicle and other earlier writers (T.D. Hardy and C.T. Martin, Rolls Series, 1888-89). It closes with the death of William Rufus, and is chiefly of interest as giving a glimpse of the opinion held by laymen of the noble class about that king. Valuable evidence regarding the Becket controversy is collected in the seven volumes in the Rolls Series, entitled Materials for the History of Thomas Becket (J.C. Robertson, 1875-85). They contain nine contemporary lives of the archbishop and one later one, and three volumes of letters of Becket and others. On the conquest of Ireland there is an important French poem called the Song of Dermot and the Earl (G.H. Orpen, 1892) that was written in the next century, but based on a contemporary narrative; and GIRALDUS CAMBRENSIS (J.S. Brewer, J.F. Dimock, and G.P. Warner, Rolls Series, 186191) gives a lively contemporary account of the Conquest, and descriptions of Ireland as well as of Wales. He also wrote later a book called De Principis Instructione, an avowed attack on Henry II and his sons, against whom he had the grievance of disappointed ambition. The book relates in passing many incidents that fill out our knowledge of the period, and it possesses some value from the very fact of its unfriendly criticism. This, but not much more than this, is also true of RALPH NIGER's contemporary chronicles of Henry II's reign, written in a spirit very unfriendly to the king (R. Anstruther, Caxton Society, 1851). An account of Richard's crusade is preserved in the Itinerarium Regis Ricardi (W. Stubbs, Rolls Series, Chronicles of Richard I, 1864), which is no more than a translation from a contemporary French poem. A biography of St. Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, who died in 1200, was written after his death by his chaplain and contains many incidental references to public affairs--a few of great value (J.F. Dimock, Rolls Series, 1864). Another biography, written in French verse not quite contemporary, but based on information from a companion of the subject, is the Histoire de Guillaume le Maréchal (P. Meyer, Soc. Hist. de France, 1891-1901). It follows the life of William Marshal through the reigns of Henry II, Richard, and John, and to his death in 1219. It relates many facts, gives much information as to life and manners and suggestions of interpretation from a layman's point of view. Foreign chronicles, of value on the foreign policy of the English kings, are that of GEOFFREY, Prior of VIGEOIS (in Bouquet's Recueil des Historiens de France), on nearly the whole of Henry II's reign, the contemporary histories of Philip Augustus by RIGORD, and GUILLAUME LE BRETON, and the Histoire des Ducs de Normandie (all in the collections of the Soc. Hist. de France). The last is original and contemporary on the reign of John. Collections of letters like those of Lanfranc, and monastic annals like those of Burton, Waverley, and Dunstable, aid materially in filling out our knowledge. A great school of historical writing was rising into prominence as this period closed, in the monastery of St. Albans. Its first great historiographer, ROGER OF WENDOVER (H.O. COXE, Engl. Hist. Soc., 1841-44), probably did not begin to write his chronicle until after the death of John, but his account of that king's reign, written not long after its close, is original and has the practical value of a contemporary narrative.

Of secondary authorities of importance who have written on this period at any length the list is unfortunately short.

First and foremost for every student of Norman and early Angevin history is the work of Bishop STUBBS. With a more direct, personal interest in the growth of institutions, still in his Constitutional History and in his prefaces to the volumes he edited for the Master of the Rolls he discussed the narrative history of the whole age and very fully the reigns of Henry II and his two sons. The characteristic of Bishop Stubbs's work, which makes it of especial value to the student of the present generation, is the remarkable clearness with which he saw the essential meaning of his material and its bearing on the problem under discussion. While he generally neglected a wide range of material of great value to the historian of institutions--the charters and legal documents--and did not always formulate clearly in his mind the exact problem to be solved, yet the keenness with which he detected in imperfect material the real solution is often marvellous. Again and again the later student finds but little more to do than to prove more fully and from a wider range of material the intuitive conclusions of his master.

For the reigns of the Conqueror and of William II we have the benefit of the minute studies of EDWARD A. FREEMAN in his History of the Norman Conquest and his Reign of William Rufus. The faults of Mr. Freeman's work are very serious, and they mar too greatly the results of long and patient industry and much enthusiasm for his subject. The neglect of unprinted material and of almost all that is strictly constitutional in character, and the personal bias arising from his strongly held theory of Teutonic influence in early English history, make every conclusion one to be accepted with caution, but his long books on these reigns furnish a vast store of fact and suggestion of the greatest importance to the student. The Norman Conquest closes with a summary history to the death of Stephen, which is of considerable value.

The second volume of Sir JAMES RAMSAY's Foundations of England and his Angevin Empire together form a continuous history of the whole age from 1066 to 1216. These books are to be noticed for their careful inclusion of details and their bringing all the sources together that bear on successive facts, so as to furnish an almost complete index to the original authorities.

Miss KATE NORGATE has written two books which form a continuous history from the accession of Stephen to the death of John--England under the Angevin Kings and John Lackland. In the first book the influence of John Richard Green is clearly traceable both in the style and in the selection of facts for treatment. It contains many discussions of difficult questions that must be taken into account in forming a final opinion. The second book is a sober and careful study of John's career that brings out some new points of detail, especially in his last years, but gives little attention to constitutional changes.

Three scholars whose work does not bear immediately upon the political history, or bears only upon portions of it, but who have yet contributed greatly by their studies to our understanding of it, are Professor F.W. MAITLAND, Professor FELIX LIEBERMANN, and Mr. HORACE ROUND. Professor Maitland's field is that of legal history, in which he has done as great a work as that of Stubbs in constitutional history, and incidentally has thrown much light on problems which Stubbs discusses. His intimate knowledge and his scientific caution of statement give to any conclusion that he puts in positive form an almost final authority. Of Dr. Liebermann it is to be said that probably no living man has so complete a knowledge of the material which the historian of this period must use, whether that be the original material of the age itself or the scattered work of secondary authorities of different ages and many languages. His own work has been mainly devoted to the preparation of scientifically edited texts, mostly of legal material, but also of extracts from a considerable range of chronicles--work unrivalled in its thoroughness and in its approach to finality. Scattered in the introductions to these texts is a mass of information on points of all kinds, which no student of the times can neglect; while an occasional formal article, like that on Anselm and Archbishop Hugh of Lyons, awakens regret that they are so few. The work of Mr. Round has nearly all appeared in short studies on isolated topics. In Geoffrey de Mandeville he has written one book on the reign of Stephen that approaches the character of narrative history. In his Feudal England and Commune of London many articles on problems of this age have been collected in a form convenient for reference. Mr. Round's knowledge of the history of persons and families is unsurpassed; he subjects the material he uses to a minuteness of analysis that is unusual; and he has settled, so far as the evidence admits of it, some important questions and a large number of minor problems, both of the history of events and of institutions.

We owe to foreign scholars many studies of value on particular questions of Norman and Angevin history, like M. CHARLES BÉMONT's on the trial of King John for the murder of Arthur, and a few long works of first importance. Dr. H. BÖHMER's Kirche und Staat in England und der Normandie im XI und XII Jahrhundert is of great interest on the conflict of Anselm with Henry I and the consequences that flowed from it. O. RÖESSLER's Kaiserin Mathilde is of particular value for the foreign policy of Henry I and for the reign of Stephen, though inclined to attach too much weight to what are really conjectures. M.A. LUCHAIRE's contribution to E. Lavisse's Histoire de France is a very interesting piece of work, dealing fully with the French side of English foreign relations, and of especial value for the first three Angevin kings. The same subject is receiving also minute and careful treatment in Dr. ALEXANDER CARTELLIERI's Philip II Augustus, Koenig van Frankreich, the first volume of which goes to the death of Henry II, while M. PETIT-DUTAILLIS's Étude sur la Vie et la Règne de Louis VIII is useful for the last years of John.

It is impossible in a bibliography of this kind to speak of all the long list of monographs and special studies, English and foreign, which alone make possible the writing of a history of this age, and to which the writer must acknowledge his obligations in general terms.

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